Hinterland Green

Monday, September 7, 2009

Fanged Frogs, Giant Woolly Rat Found in Crater on Papua New Guinea's Mount Bosavi

VolcanoA team of scientists from Great Britain, the United States, Hawaii and Papua New Guinea found more than 40 previously unidentified species when they climbed into a crater of Mount Bosavi on the island of Papua New Guinea. This pristine jungle habitat teemed with life that evolved in isolation since the volcano last erupted 200,000 years ago. The biologists discovered 16 frogs which have never been recorded before by science, three new fish, a new bat and a giant woolly rat, which may very well turn out to be the world's largest.

The team of biologists included experts from Oxford University, the London Zoo and the Smithsonian Institution and are believed to be the first scientists to enter the mountainous Bosavi crater. They were joined by members of the BBC Natural History Unit which filmed the expedition for a three-part documentary. They also found a camouflaged gecko, a fanged frog and a fish called the Henamo grunter, named because it makes grunting noises from its swim bladder.

According to the UK Guardian, the discoveries are being seen as fresh evidence of the richness of the world's rainforests and the explorers hope their finds will add weight to calls for international action to prevent the demise of similar ecosystems. They said Papua New Guinea's rainforest is currently being destroyed at the rate of 3.5% a year.

Photo credit:  The Guardian
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