The new gibbon species, called Junzi imperialis, is believed to have been wiped out before the modern age as a result of human actions, leading to its extinction.
This comes after researchers found the gibbon’s partial skull buried beside an ancient Chinese royal, dating back 2,300 years.
Dr Samuel Turvey, lead researcher of the Zoological Society of London, told Science magazine: “All of the world’s apes – chimpanzees, gorillas, orang-utans and gibbons – are threatened with extinction today due to human activities, but no ape species were thought to have become extinct as a result of hunting or habitat loss.
“However, the discovery of the recently extinct Junzi changes this, and highlights the vulnerability of gibbons in particular.”
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