Oct 7 - New, Rare Species Found [with pics]

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Props Slaps
 10-07-2010, 10:10 AM         #1
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forsakenninja05 
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Oct 7 - New, Rare Species Found [with pics]
 

 

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A Nose for Fruit


This tube-nosed fruit bat is just one of the roughly 200 species encountered during two scientific expeditions to Papua New Guinea in 2009—including a katydid that "aims for the eyes" and a frog that does a mean cricket impression, Conservation International announced late Tuesday.

Though seen on previous expeditions, the bat has yet to be formally documented as a new species, or even named. Like other fruit bats, though, it disperses seeds from the fruit in its diet, perhaps making the flying mammal crucial to its tropical rain forest ecosystem.

In all, the expeditions to Papua New Guinea's Nakanai and Muller mountain ranges found 24 new species of frogs, 2 new mammals, and nearly a hundred new insects. The remote island country's mountain ranges—which have yielded troves of new and unusual species in recent years—are accessible only by plane, boat, foot, or helicopter.


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New Species Blends In

Camouflaged in a Muller Range forest on Papua New Guinea, a new leaf katydid species peers pinkly at the camera in 2009. The animal likely eats flowers in the forest's tall trees, researchers said.

During one of the so called rapid a.ssessment programs (RAPs)—quick expeditions involving "dream teams" of top scientists—Piotr Naskrecki and David Rentz collected 42 leaf katydids. At least 20 of those are new species, according to Conservation International.

Of the roughly 120 katydids—leaf katydids and others—the researchers collected, at least 40 are new species, Naskrecki said. "That's a very high number even for a tropical, fairly unexplored area."


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Watching, Waiting

A feather-tailed opossum clings to a tree branch in Papua New Guinea's Muller Range in September 2009. Though it has yet to be scientifically documented, the elusive species has been reported once before before, on a nearby mountain in 1985.

The possum may have been attempting to catch moths, the researchers said, as it was found near a light trap intended to lure nocturnal insects. Not much is known about the creature, though the structure of its tongue suggests a diet including nectar.


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Rare Jewel

Found in the Muller Range in September 2009, a new, unnamed species of katydid glimmers dark emerald—a color Naskrecki, director of Conservation International's Invertebrate RAP, had never before seen in katydids.

Katydids, which are related to crickets and grasshoppers, play an important role in the rain forest's food chain, providing protein to monkeys, bats, birds, rodents, and even other insects.

The Muller Range expedition spent a week at each of three camps, each at a different elevation. Around each camp, the scientists found entirely new animals.


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Country Mouse

This new species of long-tailed mouse resembles tree mice of Papua New Guinea, but don't be fooled: The rodent, found in the Nakanai mountains in 2009, lives on the ground.

The researchers came to that conclusion after noticing the mouse's narrow feet and forward-pointing front teeth—useful for digging and moving soil.

Its white-tipped tail is unique among all the mice in the area and may suggest the species belongs to an entirely new genus.


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A "Most Exciting" Find

Unlike most of its relatives, which chirp at night, this new, 0.8-inch-long (2-centimeter-long) frog species sends out its mating calls right after afternoon storms.

The unnamed species was the "most exciting and surprising herpetological discovery" of the Nakanai RAP, herpetologist and RAP team leader Stephen Richards said in a statement—the amphibian belongs to a group of frogs previously documented in only the Solomon Islands, hundreds of miles to the east.


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Major Discovery


A huge-headed "major" ant of a thorny new species collects food from smaller workers in Papua New Guineau's Muller Range during a 2009 expedition. The majors use their muscular jaws to crush seeds that the smaller workers bring back to the nest.

Like other species in the Pheidole genus, the newfound ants are all divided into workers and majors, and the new species is very opportunistic, RAP director and Conservation International entomologist Leeann Alonso told National Geographic News.

"Some ants have a specialized diet," Alonso said. But the new ants "catch live insects, scavenge for dead insects and seeds. ..."

The new species was also the first to discover the crumbs researchers had inadvertently dropped near camp. "That's actually one of the best ways to find ants," she said. "Sit down there, drop some food on the ground, and wait for them to come."


[pic - click to view]



New Species Aims for the Eyes?

Unlike most katydids, which use a combination of camouflage and "startle displays," such as flashing their wings, to avoid being eaten, this new species uses its muscular, spike-covered legs to jab attackers into submission.

"I got jabbed quite a few times," Naskrecki, the invertebrate expert, told National Geographic News, adding that the new species probably evolved this defense mechanism to ward off birds and bats. "It probably aims for the eyes."


[pic - click to view]



Tiny New Frog

A frog small enough to sit on a thumbnail rests on a leaf in Papua New Guinea's Muller Range in 2009.

This species "nearly eluded the RAP team altogether," as the scientists had to search the forest floor in pouring rain to trace the sound of the "soft, scratching, cricket-like" call, according to a Conservation International statement.

The frog and all its closest relatives are found only on the island of New Guinea.


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Tent Sweet Tent

At a camp like those set up during the 2009 Nakanai and Muller RAPs, herpetologist Paul Oliver records a frog call in Papua New Guinea's Foja Mountains in 2008. The scientists' prep tent is at the left, the main tent in the background.

At the a typical camp during the Muller expedition, Alonso, the entomologist, said, "Our local guides tied logs together with vines and made little benches, little tables, and put a tarp over the top."


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 Pictures: Tube-Nosed Bat, More Rare Species Found

52 comments for "Oct 7 - New, Rare Species Found [with pics]"

 7 years ago '08        #2
JetsLost 18 heat pts18
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Looks like Papua New Guinea is off my list of places to go.
 7 years ago '07        #3
DaKid730 10 heat pts10
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wow dope i love lookin at s**t like this there is so much out there in this planet that we dont know s**t about
 7 years ago '06        #4
smoothlikebutta 17 heat pts17
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planet earth is fascinating.
 10-07-2010, 10:27 AM         #5
Trill Clinton  OP
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that first thing is an alien.

f**k that
 10-07-2010, 02:21 PM         #6
macadon83  OP
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Beautiful. I was just listening to ricky gervais talk about how the island of new guinea isn't fully explored. Parts of the map are missing. Who knows what else is out there.
 10-07-2010, 03:51 PM         #7
Sid 6point7  OP
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Where's that redman .gif
 7 years ago '10        #8
Blkboipurp 
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I ain't even gonna front this is some interesting s**t.I'm still waiting for the day people are able 2 dive further down the sea 2 find more species:wow:
 10-07-2010, 03:53 PM         #9
Tempus # 1  OP
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 macadon83 said:
Beautiful. I was just listening to ricky gervais talk about how the island of new guinea isn't fully explored. Parts of the map are missing. Who knows what else is out there.

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 10-07-2010, 03:56 PM         #10
iThink  OP
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that first thing



IT'S UGLY


this is so cool though
 7 years ago '04        #11
LikeABoss38701 12 heat pts12
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^^^ This song popped in my head while reading this article...lol

This is amazing though...


Last edited by LikeABoss38701; 10-07-2010 at 04:03 PM..
 10-07-2010, 04:02 PM         #12
2D....  OP
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.......... exactly how big is this f**kin bug right here?
 7 years ago '06        #13
Vdot88 4 heat pts
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they found this guy a few years ago

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 10-07-2010, 04:13 PM         #14
Icemouth  OP
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 2D.... said:

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.......... exactly how big is this f**kin bug right here?
yea that one threw me off the scale seems really bad looks like it's f**kin six feet gonna go eat some babies or somethin
 10-07-2010, 04:15 PM         #15
RurourniK  OP
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 forsakenninja05 said:

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 7 years ago '08        #16
Chicken_N_I-Roc 29 heat pts29
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 2D.... said:

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.......... exactly how big is this f**kin bug right here?
if it's that big..........then we might have a problem.
 7 years ago '05        #17
eric wright 2 heat pts
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 2D.... said:

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.......... exactly how big is this f**kin bug right here?
yeah man, f**k


"i got jabbed a few times"
even if its a bug, wtf..... no
 7 years ago '07        #18
Ham Rove 3511 heat pts3511
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f**k this s**t lol. glad they are finding new s**t, but im never goin there lol
 7 years ago '06        #19
unclejuju 1 heat pts
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 Dy-nasty said:
Looks like Papua New Guinea is off my list of places to go.

!!!!!!!!!!
 10-07-2010, 04:45 PM         #20
Motivated  OP
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 Trill Clinton said:


that first thing is an alien.

f**k that
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