Proof Mother Nature Hearts the Internet: Monkey Babies That Purr Like Kittens

Callicebus caquetensis is one of 441 new species discovered in the Amazon since 2010, say researchers.

(Photo: Courtesy of Wikipedia)
Sal holds a political science degree from the George Washington University. He's written about all things environment since 2007.

In news first announced in 2010, but which this week regained Internet steam after a big story in The Guardian, scientists working in the Amazon rainforest have discovered an endangered monkey species…with babies that purr like kittens.

You guys, you guys: Fuzzy baby monkeys. That PURR LIKE KITTENS.

Callicebus caquetensis—better known in monkey-going circles as the bushy-bearded titi (right hand on your grandma’s Bible, that’s the real name)—lives in the pasturelands and swamps of Colombia and is extremely rare. Scientists estimate there are only 250 in existence.

“All of the babies purr like cats,” researcher and purring-baby-monkey discoverer Thomas Defler tells The Guardian. “When they feel very content they purr towards each other, and the ones we raised would purr to us.”

The species was discovered by a group of scientists that have made hundreds of expeditions over the last four years deep into the Amazon, much of which is yet to be fully explored. In total, 441 new species have been found, including 258 plants, 84 fish, 58 amphibians, and 22 reptiles.

"The more scientists look, the more they find," The Guardian quotes Damian Fleming of the World Wildlife Fund saying. "With an average of two new species identified every week for the past four years, it's clear that the extraordinary Amazon remains one of the most important centers of global biodiversity.”

At this point, when it comes to crazy new species emerging from the jungles of South America, expect the unexpected. A snake with wings. A bat that hunts underwater. A vegetarian piranha.

Actually, that last one was already discovered.

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