Papua New Guinea - Website 2012

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Papua New Guinea

NEW! Wildlife stuff

There is nothing more exciting, or illuminating about the wonders of the amazing planet we live on, than when we suddenly discover new species that we never knew existed, despite the extent to which we have 'mastered' our planet. Recent expeditions to Papua New Guinea have discovered beautiful, wonderful animals, none of them ever seen before (other than by Papua New Guineans, of course - though sometimes not even by them). Here are some of them.

Litoria sauroni - beautiful-looking frog found in the Mount Bosavi volcanic creator.

A fanged frog. They hide under the water until a bird alights to drink and then leap out and kill it. Yes, a frog that kills birds. The males also use the fangs to fight during courtship rituals.

Camouflage spider (my name). It resembles lichen and hides on trees.

HAIRY CATERPILLAR
I have no more information on this animal, but it is awesome-looking!!

TUBE-NOSED BAT
Not a lot of info on this species. Also observed in the Mt Bosavi crater, it is presumed to be important for the local ecosystem in spreading fruit seeds ... well, that's kind of obvious really.

WOOLLY RAT
Completely unafraid because of never having seen human beings before, this is the largest predator in the Mt Bosavi crater. Three feet/one metre long and cute-looking (by human standards).

SILKY CUSCUS (Phalanger sericeus)
Species of the Silky Cuscus are found in various parts of Indonesia and Papua New Guinea. This subspecies weighs around 15 pounds (7kg) and has dense silky fur to protect it from the cold.

KING BIRD OF PARADISE (Cicinnurus regius)
The members of the Bird-of-Paradise family are perhaps best known for the plumage of the males of most species, in particular highly elongated and elaborate feathers extending from the beak, wings or head. For the most part they are confined to dense rainforest habitat. At 50g (1.8 oz) and 15 cm (5.9 in) the King Bird-of-Paradise is the smallest of the family.

PYGMY PARROT (Micropsitta)
These parrots, as their name suggests, are the smallest members of the parrot family and are even smaller than budgerigars. There are six species, which are found in the Solomon Islands and Papua New Guinea. Unusually for birds,  pygmy parrots eat a lot of lichen and fungus as well as some seeds, fruit and insects.

Iridiscent beetle

Leopard Gecko

Puffed frog - inflates itself to deter predators

Feather-tailed Opossum

Unnamed frog

Fruit dove

Orthrus jumping spider

Pink-eyed katydid

White-tailed mouse

MINI-FROG (Microhyla Nepenhicola)
The smallest frog in the world, this species only grows to the size of a pea. Finding the mini-frogs proved to be a challenge due to their size. Adult males range in length from 10.6 to 12.8 millimeters. It turns out that the tiny frogs had been found before, but were always assumed to be juveniles. The new species was named after the pitcher plant, Nepenthes ampullaria, which it depends on to live. The frogs deposit their eggs on the sides of the pitcher, and tadpoles grow in the liquid  that accumulates inside the plant.

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