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Paradise in Papua

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honeyeater
The Red-faced Wattled Honeyeater–one of the 40 new species found in Papua, Indonesia in the Foja Mountains

How amazing is it that we keep discovering new species? Animals that we’ve never seen before, and have existed probably thousands of years? This latest discovery in Papua’s Foja Mountains has completely renewed my wonder with the natural world, and is a great confirmation that no matter how much we think we know about the earth, it will continue to amaze and astound us with an unending, surprising stream of life tucked away in little undiscovered paradises.

I can only imagine how exciting it must have been for the scientists who were exploring this new area and seeing new animals, never seen before, running around all over the place! According to an article I read, they didn’t see any sorts of trails or any indication whatsoever that any other humans had ever been there before.

Anyway, these pictures are all new species discovered on this trip (except for the Tree Kangaroo, which I think was known, but thought extinct).

rhododendron
Rhododendron

This Rhododendron is one of the new species of plants, with flowers considered to be the world’s largest, as big as dinnerplates.

bird
Bird – Species???

treekangaroo
Tree Kangaroo

I read somewhere this ultra-rare species has only been seen like once or twice before, but many of them live in the Foja mountains. And, is it just me, or does this thing really look like Thom Yorke?

bowerbird
Bowerbird

frog
Frog

hedgehoghthing
Hedge Hog Thing

To me, it’s especially impressive when new mammals are found. It seems that new plants, fish and birds surface every once in a while. But a new mammal is a rare find indeed. Apparently, this hedge hog-type thing was so docile and unaccustomed to humans, that it allowed the researchers to walk right up to it and pick it up without seeming alarmed.

Reading all of these articles and seeing the new species reminds me of my trip down the Orinico River in Venezuela, back in 1999. I was amazed that everywhere we went, no matter how far away from where I had come, to whichever small recesses of the jungle we traveled, I could find life everywhere I looked. Underneath rocks, on the surface of the water, climbing the bark on trees, beneath the soil–every placed I looked was teeming with life.

If you would like to learn more about this recent discovery, click here, here, here, or here*.

Pictures taken from the BBC and Associated Press

* Thanks to Powers of the Illustrious Powerama for that last link, the NPR one.

—–

Currently listening to Ratatat

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Written by pocheco

February 8, 2006 at 4:47 pm

Posted in Uncategorized

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