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Photo by @jtkerby // A monkey with the gut microbiota of a sheep? As the world’s only grazing primate (i.e. eats mostly grass-like plants), gelada monkeys face digestive challenges encountered by no other living primates. Recent research suggests that geladas can succeed on this diet in part due to their unique gut microbiota (microorganisms that help digestion)…or at least one unique amongst primates. Genetic analyses have found that their gastrointestinal microbiome compared most closely to that of a sheep (vs. other primates)! These monkeys are found only in the Ethiopian Highlands, but their grassland habitat is rapidly disappearing. Research teams from Ethiopia and abroad are making progress towards understanding the conservation challenges they will face in the years ahead, but much work still needs to be done to protect this little understood primate. #Ethiopia #Guassa #Gelada #GGRP #Monkey #NatGeo // For more science and nature photos, see @jtkerby

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