Newly Discovered Species Resembles Yoda, Just In Time For 'Star Wars Day'

Little Jedi Masters.

May 4 is the unofficial "May the fourth be with you" Star Wars holiday,  While many celebrate by dressing up as their favorite characters, re-watching the films, and paying tribute to the films on social media, conservation groups are using the day to announce a newly discovered species of tarsiers, a nocturnal primate.


But these aren't just any primates. Many are pointing out the animals' resemblance to Yoda.

For that reason, it was only appropriate the discovery was revealed on the unofficial Star Wars day.

According to a study, two new species of tarsiers, Tarsius supriatnai and Tarsius spectrumgurskyae, were discovered on the island of Sulawesi in Indonesia.  

Tarsiers are a species that scientists are already familiar with. The "forest goblins" or "jungle gremlins" as they are sometimes nicknamed, are found in parts of Southeast Asia. Evidence has been found that they once lived across Asia, Europe, and North America.

With their pointy ears and wise eyes, the species have been widely thought to have been the inspiration for Yoda.

Russ Mittermeier, a conservation international (CI) primatologist and co-author of the study wrote, "These two new species are the 80th and 81st primates new to science described since 2000 — this represents about 16 percent of all primate species known, and is indicative of how little we know of our planet's unique and wonderful biodiversity." 

He added, "If we haven’t even gotten a handle on the diversity of our closest living relatives, which by comparison are relatively well-studied, imagine how much we still have to learn about the rest of life on Earth."

USA Today points out that Indonesia is the third richest country in the world for primate diversity, but the new tarsiers study cautions that this precious part of the earth is at risk. It states that Indonesia had the highest rate of deforestation in the world in 2014, so habitats for many animals, such as the tarsiers, could be lost, threatening animal life. Therefore, it is imperative we consider our future actions and think about how we can preserve our beautiful planet and all of its creatures.

(H/T: Mashable)


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