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Recent Papua New Guinea Discoveries
Posted In: Other Exciting News  9/9/09
By: Yona Williams

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Digging deep into a remote volcanic crater located on the Pacific island of Papua New Guinea, a team of scientists have discovered a lost world – once home to frogs with fangs, fish that grunted, and small creatures resembling a bear. In this article, you will learn the significance of such a find, as well as additional details on the progress of the exploration.

The combined efforts of scientists from Britain, the United States and Papua New Guinea have resulted in the discovery of more than 40 species that have gone previously unidentified. Inside the crate of Mount Bosavi, which measures 1-kilometer deep, scientists explored the jungle habitat that has evolved without any disruption since the volcano erupted 200,000 years ago.

In just five weeks of exploring the land, biologists have already revealed the existence of 16 frogs that have never before had the chance at becoming a recorded part of the science world. At least three new fish species have been observed, including the Henamo grunter, which produces a grunting noise that comes from its swim bladder. A new bat and giant rat, which may prove one of the largest in the world, are also amongst the newly discovered. All in all – the power of the rainforest is becoming increasingly clear as many different creatures have been able to thrive in the climate and habitat.

Hopefully, the new discoveries will shed light on the importance of preventing the destruction of similar ecosystems located across the globe. Each year, the rainforest in Papua New Guinea is being destroyed at a rate of 3.5%. The entire excavation was a fascinating experience that led to a first. It is believed that this is the first time that scientists have entered the mountainous region of Bosavi crater.

You'll have an opportunity to see what the scientists saw while exploring the crater. During the exploration, members of the BBC Natural History Unit tagged along so that they could film the actions of the scientists. On the expedition, a team of biologists including the likes of experts hailing from Oxford University, the London Zoo, and the Smithsonian Institution, will appear in a three-part documentary that has already aired on television.

In the 3-kilometer wide crater, an array of birds of paradise dwelled. Since the typical predators of the jungle (like big cats and monkeys) do not live in this sanctuary, the main threats are giant monitor lizards. The habitat is so unique that kangaroos have evolved to live in trees. A camouflaged gecko and a fanged frog also call the crater their home. The scientists were in a wonderland of new life, including the never-before seen marsupial called the Bosavi silky cuscus, which felt comfortable enough to perch on the shoulder of a climber and naturalist. The animal lives in the trees, consuming fruits and leaves.


 

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