Junzi imperialis by hodarinundu-dcf9v4y
An artist's illustration of Junzi imperialis
Scientific classification
Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Chordata
Class: Mammalia
Order: Primates
Family: Hylobatidae
Genus: Junzi
Turvey et al., 2018
Binomial name
Junzi imperialis
Turvey et al., 2018

Junzi imperialis is an extinct genus of gibbon that was found in an Ancient Chinese noblewoman's tomb. The type species, based off an incomplete skull, named in 2018 by Samuel Turvey. It is believed that when alive around 2,200 to 2,300 years ago, the type specimen was owned by Lady Xia, the mother of King Zhuangxiang of Qin and grandmother of Qin Shi Huang, the first emperor of China. [1]

Discovery and Naming[]

The skull fossil was discovered when the tomb was opened in 2004. The living animal is thought to have been a member of Lady Xia's menagerie of luxury pets, which also included lynxes and a black bear.

The generic name was coined by Turvey and his colleagues in reference to how gibbons were, in ancient China, kept by noblemen scholars, or junzi, as pets.