BEIJING, Dec. 5 (Xinhua) -- Chinese scientists have revealed the origin and population history of the golden snub-nosed monkey in a recent study, the Science and Technology Daily reported Wednesday.
An endangered species, golden snub-nosed monkeys are mainly found in Sichuan, Gansu and Shaanxi provinces, as well as Shennongjia Nature Reserve in Hubei Province, with less than 20,000 living in the wild, according to the newspaper.
Scientists from Yunnan University and the Shanghai Institutes for Biological Sciences under the Chinese Academy of Sciences analyzed multiple genomic markers of golden snub-nosed monkeys from different geographic populations. The result reveals the species' diffusion process and the gene flow among monkeys from different geographic origins.
Based on the demographic simulation analyses, scientists believe the ancestral population first widely lived in the mountainous areas of central and southwestern China, then the influence of paleoclimatic changes led to more diverse geographic populations.
The research has a broad significance for the protection of this endangered species as well as the research in Chinese biogeography.
The research was published in the journal Molecular Biology and Evolution.