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Rare Monkey with Blue Balls, Blue Behind Discovered in Africa, Makes Top 10 List of New Creatures

Update Date: May 26, 2013 08:24 PM EDT
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Our planet is so vast that even till today, we are discovery new creatures.  Out of the annual list of ten newly discovered creatures by the Institute at Arizona State University, a rare monkey was discovered in 2012 in the Democratic Republic of Congo which a blue backside and blue balls, or testicles

"Through the top 10, we are really just trying to raise awareness about how many species there are on the planet," Quentin Wheeler, founding director of the International Institute for Species Exploration (IISE), told ABC News. This is the sixth annual such list by the Institute at Arizona State University.

About 18,000 new species in all were discovered in 2012, according to the institute. Wheeler said there are an estimated 10 to 12 million living species, but only about 2 million have been discovered. Scientists estimate there are millions more species existing in the microbial world. This year's top 10 list was whittled down from more than 140 nominees.

This rare monkey, called the Lesula monkey, is only the second new species of monkey to be discovered in Africa in the last 28 years. The IISE said the lesula has been known to the people of Congo, where it was discovered by scientists, but the species was never recorded. This species of monkey has eyes that observers say look human, with brown coloring, and males have large, bare patch of skin on the buttocks and testicles that is a brilliant blue.

A committee of scientists narrowed these down to ten. Their decision was based on a combination of factors, such as their oddness, appearance and importance to humans, according to Antonio Valdecasas, one of the scientists involved in the process.

"We look for organisms with unexpected features or size and those found in rare or difficult to reach habitats. We also look for organisms that are especially significant to humans - those that play a certain role in human habitat or that are considered a close relative," Valdecasas said.

"Selecting the final list of new species from a wide representation of life forms such as bacteria, fungi, plants and animals, is difficult. It requires finding equilibrium between certain criteria and the special insights revealed by selection committee members."

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