Sunday, October 10, 2010

200 New Species Discovered In Remote Papua New Guinea

200 New Species Discovered
In Remote Papua New Guinea

A spectacular array of more than 200 new species has been discovered in the Pacific Islands of Papua New Guinea, including a white-tailed mouse and a tiny, long-snouted frog.

The survey of remote New Britain Island and the Southern Highlands ranges, accessible only by a combination of small plane, dinghy, helicopter and foot, found an exciting range of new mammals, amphibians, insects and plants.

People have heard of birds of paradise and tree-climbing kangaroos, but when you look even closer at the small things you just realise that there's a staggering diversity out there that we really know nothing about.

Papua New Guinea's jungles are one of just three wild rainforest areas, along with the Amazon and the Congo basin, left in the world, and as such comprise a vast "storehouse" of biodiversity, with scores of new species.

Scientists have indicated that only half of the things documented actually have names.

The rugged, mountainous and largely inaccessible terrain meant biologists had not even been able to enter some regions and there were large areas of New Guinea that are pretty much unexplored biologically.

Genetic testing used to prove new species such as the mouse which confirmed that it was not related to any known creature.

There is little doubt that these kinds of discoveries are certainly good news story amongst all the gloom, particularly when one considers the creeping extinction of other creatures.

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