Newfound Primate Named For Star Wars’ Luke Skywalker

A newly discovered species of gibbon has been happily named after Luke Skywalker from the Star Wars saga.

Called the skywalker hoolock gibbon (Hoolock tianxin), the discovery was announced in the American Journal of Primatology on Tuesday.

According to the scientists, it was named skywalker because the Chinese characters for the primate’s scientific name translate to “heaven’s movement.” They’re also fans of Star Wars, too, according to the BBC.

And Mark Hamill, who plays the role in the movies is beside himself. Hamill has taken to Twitter to share the news and images of his fictional namesake.

“So proud of this! First the Pez dispenser, then the Underoos & U.S. postage stamp… now this! #GorillaMyDreams #SimianSkywalker #JungleJedi”

Then Hamill went on a binge, retweeting a series of comparison images showing how much newly named forest dweller resembles his character on film.

Hamill seems to be beside himself, pinning a clip of the adorable canopy-dwelling species to the top of his Twitter feed.

“Giddy over the Gibbon news-Gobsmacked that ANY species of animal could be named in honor of my character! I’ll stop now. #MakeAMonkeyOutOfMe”

The skywalker hoolock gibbons are found in Asian rainforests in Bangladesh, India, China, and Myanmar. The name skywalker or “heaven movement” refers to the fact that they live in the treetops and rarely spend time on the ground.

The video below from the Zoological Society of London shows the little primate in its treetop habitat with its distinctive white eyebrows.

 

 

Image via YouTube video

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