200 New Species Identified in Mekong, Including ‘Elvis’ Monkey

World Wildlife Fund researchers say that more than 200 new species of wildlife and plants have been identified in Southeast Asia’s Greater Mekong region since early 2010, including a self-cloning skink, five

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Greater Mekong Species Elvis Monkey

Martin Aveling/Fauna & Flora International
The ‘Elvis’ monkey
carnivorous plants, and a black and white monkey nicknamed the “Elvis monkey” because of its distinctive tuft of hair. The report, released by the organization on the eve of economic talks among regional leaders, says that the “Elvis” monkey — Rhinopithecus strykeri — is known to bury its head between its knees during wet weather to prevent rain from running up its upturned nose. Among 28 new species of lizards identified by scientists is an all-female species that reproduces via cloning, without the need for male lizards. The report suggests that a commitment by region’s national leaders to a more sustainable “green” economy is critical to preserving the Greater Mekong’s extraordinary biodiversity.