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Two new species of woolly flying squirrels discovered in the Himalayas excite scientists

By on June 10, 2021 0

Scientists have discovered two new species of woolly flying squirrel, whose scientific name is Eupetaurus cinereus. Through their study, the team of scientists discovered that there are two distinct species of woolly flying squirrels that live thousands of miles apart at some of the highest elevations in the Himalayas. The study used morphological examinations and molecular phylogenetic analyzes to differentiate the newly discovered species.

The study of the two new species was published in the Zoological Journal of the Linnean Society, last week. The group of scientists involved in the study also included Chief Scientist and Director of the Australian Museum Research Institute (AMRI) Kristofer M. Helgen, along with his colleague, studied the mysterious species by examining museum specimens and by collecting data from observations of the species. , like camera traps.

The two new species discovered are called the Tibetan Woolly Flying Squirrel (Eupetaurus tibetensis) and the Yunnan Woolly Flying Squirrel (Eupetaurus nivamons). Research mentions that the Tibetan woolly flying squirrel lives in the Himalayan region that intersects India, Bhutan and Tibet, while the Yunnan woolly flying squirrel is native to southwestern Yunnan province. from China.

The woolly squirrel is typically found in rugged Himalayan habitat at an elevation of 16,000 feet. It is because of the remote and uninhabited region where they thrive, that very few scientists have even seen the animal in the wild. Woolly squirrels are nocturnal in nature and have greyish-brown fur, which helps them camouflage themselves with their surroundings. This makes it even harder to spot. Zoologist Oldfield Thomas identified the woolly squirrel in 1888.

Research mentions that for much of the 20th century, the flying squirrel was considered extinct until it was rediscovered in 1994 in northern Pakistan. With this latest study, scientists succeeded in providing the first taxonomic and biogeographic review of the woolly flying squirrel which so far contained only one species.

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