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Madidi Titi
Plecturocebus aureipalatii
Information
Common Name GoldenPalace.com Monkey and Golden Palace Monkey
Range western Bolivia
Scientific Classification
Kingdom Animalia
Phylum Chordata
Class Mammalia
Order Primates
Family Pitheciidae
Genus Plecturocebus
Species Plecturocebus aureipalatii
Conservation Status
LCSpecies
Least Concern

The Madidi titi (Plecturocebus aureipalatii), also known as the GoldenPalace.com monkey or the golden palace monkey, is a species of titi in the Pitheciidae family. It was discovered in western Bolivia's Madidi National Park in 2004. Its scientific name is Plecturocebus aureipalatii, the specific epithet meaning "of the Golden Palace", in reference to GoldenPalace.com, an online casino which paid US$650,000 to have the species named after them, with benefits going toward the nonprofit organization that maintains the park where the titi was discovered.

Discovery

British biologist Robert Wallace of the Wildlife Conservation Society and the Bolivian biologist Humberto Gómez first spotted the monkey in 2000 when they were studying the animals of Madidi National Park. It became the first primate species to have been discovered in Bolivia in the last 60 years when it was given status as a new species in 2006 after years of studies. The field expedition team, consisting of Annika M. Felton, Adam Felton, and Ernesto Cáceres, were the first researchers to film and record this species, previously unknown to science. Rather than choosing a name themselves, Wallace, his team, and WCS auctioned off the naming rights to raise funds for FUNDESNAP (Fundación para el Desarrollo del Sistema Nacional de Áreas Protegidas), the nonprofit organization that maintains Madidi National Park. The online casino GoldenPalace.com, one of over a dozen bidders, paid US$650,000 to have the species named after them.

Description

The Madidi titi has orange-brown fur, a characteristic golden crown, a white tip to its tail, and dark red hands and feet. Like other titis, it is monogamous, mating for life. A pair maintains a territory against rival pairs primarily through territorial calling. The male usually carries the infants until they can survive on their own.

Distribution

The species was discovered in low-lying lands of northwestern Bolivia, in the forest at the foot of the Andes. Studies indicate that it inhabits the western bank of the river Beni. The extension to the east and north of its range is not known. Preliminary studies indicate that the species is not endemic to Bolivia, with habitats that may extend to the south of Peru (at least to the Tambopata River).

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