Scientists have discovered about 60 new species of plants, insects, birds, ants, mammals and amphibians in a remote forest in Suriname.
“Suriname is one of the last places where an opportunity still exists to conserve massive tracts of untouched forest and pristine rivers where biodiversity is thriving,” Dr. Trond Larsen, a tropical ecologist on the expedition team, said in an interview with The Telegraph.
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Sixteen scientists led the expedition into the forest where they believe they found 60 species of plants and animals unknown to the scientific world. This includes a new snake, eleven different fish and six new species of frog.
Here are just a couple of the dozens of species discovered in Suriname.
Cocoa frog (Hypsiboas sp.): This chocolate-colored frog lives in trees in the rainforest-covered mountain region of southeastern Suriname.
“Like other amphibians, its semi-permeable skin makes it highly sensitive to changes in the environment, especially freshwater,” Dr. Larsen said in a statement. “With over 100 species of frogs likely gone extinct over just the last three decades, the discovery of this new species is especially heartening,”
A snouted tree frog and a brown and white poison dart frog were also discovered.
Lilliputian beetle (Canthidium cf. minimum): This tiny beetle is only 0.09 inches long, or 2.3 millimeters. It features a deep ruby color and has antennae that look like the antlers of a reindeer. The Lilliputian beetle might be the smallest dung beetle in the Guiana Shield and second smallest species in South America.
“Dung beetles play critical ecological roles that help support healthy ecosystems,” Dr. Larsen said. “By burying dung, they regulate parasites and disease, disperse seeds and recycle nutrients to promote plant growth.”
Name TBD (Pseudophyllinae teleutin): This katydid species looks very similar to a grasshopper. The Pseudophyllinae teleutin has sharp pricks on its legs and spine to ward off predators. The creature is so unique that is the first in its own genus.
Thirty indigenous men led the 16 scientists throughout Suriname. They traveled by foot, boat, plane and helicopter.
“We scoured the forest for flowering plants, frogs, snakes, birds, bats, insects, monkeys and other creatures. We installed automated camera traps to photograph elusive wildlife such as wild cats, and dragged nets through rivers and swamps in search of fish,” Trond wrote in a Conservation International blog post.
Source Article from http://www.latinpost.com/articles/2700/20131004/scientists-discover-60-new-species-suriname-forest.htm
Scientists DIscover 60 New Species in Suriname Forest – Latin Post
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