Creature Discovery News of August 2010

Often times, we hear about the many endangered species and other animals around the world that are dwindling in numbers. In August, a range of new creatures have been uncovered by researchers with as many as 40 new creatures and plants found in Indonesia. In this article, you will learn about some of the newer species that have been discovered within this past year.

Indonesia Marine Discoveries

Equipped with advanced technology, scientists exploring the waters off of Indonesia were greeted by a colorful display of marine life dwelling on the ocean floor. It is estimated that as many as 40 new plant and animal species could have been found during an expedition that ended on August 14 and spanned three weeks long.

A robotic vehicle captured more than 100 hours of video and 100,000 photographs using high-definition cameras, which allowed researchers to follow along in real-time with the help of satellite and high-speed Internet. The images shed light on one of the most complicated ecosystems in the world that had been previously untapped to a great extent.

Some of the creatures that have emerged on the images and video are sea spiders the same size as plates and sponges that resemble flowers that seem to of the carnivorous sort. On the video, researchers delighted in seeing an animal that looked like a flower, but was covered with glasslike needles. Scientists believe it is a type of carnivorous sponge that uses the spikes (covered with sticky tissue) to catch food as it passes by its body.

One professor from the University of Victoria in Canada had noted that stalked sea lilies had once covered the ocean in shallow and deep waters, but had been classified as rare. During the expedition, a diverse number of the lilies lived in the Indonesian waters. Another joy was seeing sea spiders of such a large size, which measured eight inches or more across their bodies.

Smallest Asian Frog Found in Borneo

Borneo is an island found in Southeast Asia known for producing a wide range of interesting and diverse creatures. Most recently, a frog species the size of a pea has been discovered and has been dubbed the smallest frog found in Asia, Africa, and Europe (a region also referred to as the Old World). The frogs were uncovered in the Kubah National Park in the state of Sarawak in Malaysia , living along a road that reached the summit of the Gunung Serapi mountain.

Scientists stumbled upon the frogs by tracking their calls, which begin when the sun has set. Using a piece of white cloth, the scientists were able to study the frogs when the creatures jumped on. The frog was also given the name Microhyla nepenthicola, which comes from the plant on which it lives on. This very small frog measures between 10.6 and 12.8 millimeters.