A new species of primate has been identified and named the "Skywalker hoolock gibbon" at the Gaoligongshan National Nature Reserve in southwest China.
The "Star War gibbon" in China lives to the east of the Irrawaddy river. [Photo: Yun Shan]
While the animal has been studied for some time, it wasn't until recently that those gibbons inhabiting the forests of Yunnan province were found to actually be a completely different species.
Hoolock gibbons are found in Bangladesh, India, China and Myanmar, living in forest treetops.
However one research team from Sun Yat-sen University started to suspect that these animals they were observing were different from other hoolock gibbons, based on different markings and vocalizations, reported the BBC.
So the team decided to do a genetic comparison of these special gibbons with other hoolock gibbons, confirming these primates were in fact a different species.
The primates were then given the scientific name, "hoolock tianxing" meaning "heaven's movement" when translated from Chinese.
And because the scientists who made the discovery happened to be fans of the Star Wars movies, these "jungle Jedi" that live in the treetops were given the common name "Skywalker hoolock gibbon".
Mark Hamill's twitter [Screenshot: CRIENGLISH.com]
In response to the news, actor Mark Hamill - Luke Skywalker in the original Star Wars movies - said on Twitter that he was so proud to have them named after his character.1 2 3 4