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Originally the creature, named Rungwecebus kipunji, was thought to be a type of mangabey from the genus Lophocebus.
But more detailed observation and genetic analysis showed that it was more closely related to baboons.
Scientists have now assigned it to a genus of its own - Rungwecebus, after Mount Rungwe in Tanzania where the monkey was first spotted.
Dr William Stanley, from the Field Museum of Natural History in Chicago, is one of the experts who described the creature today in the journal Science.
"This is exciting news because it shows that the age of discovery is by no means over," he said.