Lost world discovered in PapuaAn international team of scientists have discovered what they are calling a "lost World" in the Papua province of eastern Indonesia. The researchers, led by Conservation International, found twenty new frog species, four new butterfly species, and many other marvelous animals and plants living in an isolated jungle. It's absolutely thrilling that there are still pockets of this planet teeming with unknown life.
From the Conservation International press release:
“It’s as close to the Garden of Eden as you’re going to find on Earth,” marveled Bruce Beehler, vice president of CI’s Melanesia Center for Biodiversity Conservation and a co-leader of the expedition. “The first bird we saw at our camp was a new species. Large mammals that have been hunted to near extinction elsewhere were here in abundance. We were able to simply pick up two Long-Beaked Echidnas, a primitive egg-laying mammal that is little known.”Link to Conservation International press release, Link to New York Times article (Thanks, John Parres!)
The discoveries solved one major ornithological mystery – the location of the homeland of Berlepsch’s Six-Wired Bird of Paradise (seen here). First described in the late 19th century through specimens collected by indigenous hunters from an unknown location on New Guinea, the species had been the focus of several subsequent expeditions that failed to find it.
On the second day of the recent month-long expedition, amazed scientists watched as a male Berlepsch’s bird of paradise performed a mating dance for an attending female in the field camp. This was the first time a live male of the species had been observed by Western scientists, and proved that the Foja Mountains was the species’ true home.