According to National Geographic the remains of 72 Rwandan mountain gorillas are being exhumed for scientific study:
The remains of the gorillas, recovered this summer from an area of Rwanda made famous by primatologist Dian Fossey, were exhumed from three graves or recovered from wildlife authorities and veterinary clinics, where they were stored post-mortem.
According to the researchers involved the skeletons present a unique opportunity for researchers because many of them can be identified from Fossey’s notes. The research is being led by Tim Bromage. Here is why the research has the potential to be so important:
“The depth of individual information associated with many of these skeletons is what makes this particular collection so extraordinary,” said Shannon McFarlin, another project leader and a research scientist at the Center for the Advanced Study of Hominid Paleobiology at the George Washington University.
Being able to compare notes that record “intimate details” about the gorillas with new skeletal tissue analysis will help researchers put previous observations into a broader context, McFarlin added.
Consequently, the research also has potential for conservation efforts, especially as the gorillas are being impacted by climate change.