Who doesn’t love a long-beaked echidna?


I sure do, I know that much. The IHT has an interesting article (and accompanying slide-show, which you can catch in the upper right-hand corner of the article page) on a scientific expedition in Indonesia which uncovered newly discovered species in an isolated chunk of jungle. The phrase “lost world” gets tossed around, but, you know.


A snippet:

The December 2005 expedition to Papua Province on the western side of New Guinea island was organized by the U.S.-based environmental organization Conservation International and the Indonesian Institute of Sciences.

“There was not a single trail, no sign of civilization, no sign of even local communities ever having been there,” said Beehler, adding that two headmen from the Kwerba and Papasena tribes, the customary landowners of the Foja Mountains, accompanied the expedition.

The scientists said they had discovered 20 frog species, including a tiny microhylid frog less than 14 millimeters, or a little more than a half-inch, long, four new butterfly species, and at least five new types of palms.

Their findings, however, will have to be published and then reviewed by peers before the new species are officially classified, a process that could take six months to several years.

One of the most remarkable discoveries was the Golden-mantled Tree Kangaroo, an arboreal jungle-dweller previously thought to have been hunted to near extinction, and a new honeyeater bird, which has a bright orange face-patch with a pendant wattle under each eye, Beehler said. The scientists also took the first known photographs of Berlepsch’s Six-Wired Bird of Paradise, described by hunters in New Guinea in the 19th century.