Other recently discovered species - Website 2012

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Other recently discovered species

NEW! Wildlife stuff

While Papua New Guinea remains the almost-endless repository of new species to be discovered, many other areas of the world - Amazon Basin, Meekong Delta, deep sea habitats - also produce new species every year. Not to mention the ones we are still finding just under our noses!

BALD PARROT (Pyrilia aurantiocephala)
This parrot's discovery in 2002 was a major shock, mainly because such a large and distinctive bird cluld have gone unnoticed for so long. This parrot is only found in two distinct areas of the Brazilian Amazon, both under threat of logging.

BUBBLE-BOTTOMED FROG (Ranitomeya amazonica)
This is a species of what are called poison-dart frogs. R. amazonica, which sports a burst of "flame" on its head and water-patterned  legs, was discovered in 1999 in moist lowland forests.

AMAZON SUNDEW (Drosera Spathulata)
Officially described by scientists in 2009. Because it grows on highly acidic and nutrient-poor soil, the species exudes a sweet perfume to lure insects into glandular tentacles topped with sticky secretions.

BIOLUMINISCENT MUSHROOMS (Mycena luxaeterna)

These glow-in-the-dark mushrooms are native to a disappearing forest habitat near São Paulo, Brazil. Growing to a mere 8 millimeters tall, these mushrooms, known as Mycena luxaeterna, meaning eternal light mushrooms, emit their eerie neon-green glow 24 hours a day. Although there are an estimated 1.5 million species of fungi on Earth, only 71 species are thought to be bioluminescent.


BLUE-FANG TARANTULA (Ephebous cyanognathus)
Discovered in French Guiana in 2000, the bluefang tarantula has a taste for birds.

CHAMELEON (Furcifer timoni)

With a red splash on color on its head and blue spots all over its body, this "glam-rock" chameleon  (Furcifer timoni) received its name because of the vibrant colors that adorn its skin. Found in the isolated rainforests of the Montagne d’Ambre in northern Madagascar, it is one  of 11 species of chameleon discovered in Madagascar since 1999.


CLONING LIZARD (Leiolepis ngovantrii)

The newfound Leiolepis ngovantrii is no run-of-the-mill reptile—the all-female species reproduces via cloning, without the need for male lizards. Single-gender lizards aren't that much of an oddity: about one percent of lizards can reproduce by parthenogenesis, meaning the females spontaneously ovulate and clone themselves to produce offspring with the same genetic blueprint.

FROGFISH (Histiophryne psychedelica)

Yes, this Indonesian fish, Histiophryne psychedelica , is walking on his fins. The source of the frogfish's surname, psychedelica, need not be explained, but the flatness of its face has raised an interesting hypothesis. Scientists believe  the psychedelic frogfish feels its way through dark caves by touching edges with its splayed-out face, much like a kitten uses its whiskers. Watch it here on Youtube



LOUISIANA PANCAKE BATFISH (Halieutichthys intermedius)

Pancake batfish are so named from the flat shape of their bodies and from their motion on the sea bed, described as similar to a bat crawling. They have pelvic fins which act like feet, complete with elbows to hop along the sea floor. They feed on invertebrates, and use chemical lures to catch prey. They are small enough to fit in the palm of a human hand and are described as being as thick as a "fluffy pancake". They inflate tehir bodies to appear more threatening to possible predators

This deep-water creature, which lives around 1,500 feet below the surface, was threatened last year by encroaching oil as a result of the Deepwater Horizon oil spill.

NORTHERN SIERRA MADRE FOREST MONITOR LIZARD (Varanus bitatawa)

A "spectacular" new species of giant, secretive, colorful and fruit-eating monitor lizard.
The reptile, named the Northern Sierra Madre Forest Monitor Lizard, is 6 feet long, around 22 pounds and brightly colored yellow and black. It is in the same family as the Komodo dragon, the world's largest lizard.

A scientist commented "We think that it had not been discovered (before) primarily because of its secretiveness and because few comprehensive studies of amphibians and reptiles have been conducted in the inaccessible forests of NE Luzon Island."

The huge lizard spends much of its time high in the trees overlooking the forest floor. Perhaps because of its size and apparent tree-specific body camouflage, it may be wary and cautious about exposing itself to terrestrial predators.

Unlike its Komodo dragon relative, the Northern Sierra Madre Forest Monitor Lizard is primarily a vegetarian, subsisting on Pandanus fruit, figs, Pili nut fruits and the occasional snail.

 
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