Scientists Discover New Species of Monkey


Scientists never know what they’ll find when they’re out exploring. This time, they came face-to-face with a never-before-seen primate. (Nat Geo Kids)

Use our resources to learn about “6 Marvelous Monkeys”!

Teachers, scroll down for a quick list of key resources in our Teachers’ Toolkit.

This is not Milton's titi, the newest species of monkey discovered. It's a relative, the dusky titi. Photograph by Cliff, courtesy Wikimedia. CC-BY-2.0
This is not Milton’s titi, the newest species of monkey discovered. It’s a relative, the dusky titi.
Photograph by Cliff, courtesy Wikimedia. CC-BY-2.0

Discussion Ideas

  • According to Nat Geo Kids, Milton’s titi is a “never-before-seen” primate. What’s a primate?
    • A primate is a type of mammal. There are many different species of primates, including lemurs and lorises, monkeys and apes, and even hominins—like humans!
    • Milton’s titi is a New World monkey. New World monkeys such as titis, capuchins, and spider monkeys, generally have flatter noses with more sideways-facing nostrils than Old World monkeys. Compare the noses of this titi (New World monkey) with this langur (an Old World monkey) for an example.


  • According to Nat Geo News, the region of Brazil where Milton’s titi was discovered has been explored for more than a century. How did the monkey go undiscovered for so long?
    • Most of the monkey’s habitat, a small region of lowland rain forest, remains undeveloped and protected as either conservation area or land belonging to indigenous people. Not a lot of biologists have done extensive field work there.
    • Previous explorers probably thought Milton’s titi belonged to one of the other 30 species of titi monkeys indigenous to South America.


  • What makes Milton’s titi distinct from other titis?
    • Milton’s titi has unique coloring, what biologists call “chromatic characters of the fur“: light gray line of the forehead, dark ocher sideburns and throat, dark gray portions of the torso and flanks, and uniformly orange tail.





Nat Geo: New Monkey Discovered

Nat Geo: New Titi Monkey Found: Fire-Tailed, With Sideburns

Nat Geo: 6 Marvelous Monkeys

(extra credit—don’t worry, it’s in both Portuguese and English) Papéis Avulsos de Zoologia (São Paulo): New species of titi monkey, genus Callicebus Thomas, 1903 (Primates, Pitheciidae), from Southern Amazonia, Brazil

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