• Ruqayya Khan

The very hairy not so scary

In the lowland forests of the Congo Basin, Allen’s swamp monkeys (Allenopithecus nigroviridis) may be found foraging for fruit, insects, and leaves. A member of the Old-World monkey family, Allen’s swamp monkey is classified in its own genus, Allenopithecus. This species was named after the renowned American zoologist, Joel Asaph Allen.

Allen’s swamp monkey (Allenopithecus nigroviridis), Photo by Heather Paul [CC BY-ND 2.0], via flickr.com

As their name suggests, these monkeys inhabit swamps and marshes. Their hands and feet are slightly webbed, making them strong swimmers. The swamp monkey may dive into water to avoid predator’s attacks. In the wild, the predators of the swamp monkey are falcons, snakes, and larger primates such as the bonobo. The Allen’s swamp monkey is also hunted for its meat by humans and sold in local markets. 

Today, we are releasing the chromosome length assembly of Allen’s swamp monkey. This assembly was prepared from two monkeys from the Houston Zoo, Ota and Pepper. Read about Pepper here in the Houston Zoo’s blog post, Points on Pepper! She is the daughter of a wild born monkey Naku, who was rescued in 2003 from an African market.

This is a $1K-model genome assembly, with contig N50=48kb and scaffold N50=115Mb. See Dudchenko et al., 2018 for more details on the methodology!

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