Feeds

Scientists probe 'Lost World' rainforest

New Guinea, new species

Providing a secure and efficient Helpdesk

An expedition to one of the world's most remote rainforests has turned up a bonanza of undiscovered species.

Western New Guinea's Foja mountains are home to one million hectares of pristine ancient tropical forest that, until December's month-long jaunt, were largely unknown to science. Dozens of new species, including 20 new frogs, plants, butterflies, and birds were found by an international team of biodiversity experts.

Conservation International expedition leader Bruce Beehler describes the region as: "As close to the Garden of Eden as you're going to find on Earth."

The group solved a major ornithological conundrum – the fate of a bird of paradise previously known only by feather specimens from native hunters. Berlepsch's Six-Wired Bird of Paradise had eluded past expeditions, but this time appeared in the scientists' camp on their second day in the jungle to perform a mating dance.

Many of the animals showed no fear of humans, making them easier to study. Large mammals, such as the Long-beaked Echidna, that have been hunted to near extinction elsewhere in the region were found in abundance in the Foja.

An unknown honeyeater bird with an orange face and wattle under each eye – unlike any other on New Guinea – delighted the party. One new species of frog measured just 14mm, while botanists came across a huge, world record-equaling six-inch rhododendron flower.

For scientists, the mountain forest represents an increasingly rare example of an undisturbed ecosystem, and the large numbers of unique species make it a 'laboratory' of evolution, where isolation has produced unusual adaptations.

The team hopes to return to the forest this year, having "only scratched the surface". ®

Internet Security Threat Report 2014

More from The Register

next story
MARS NEEDS WOMEN, claims NASA pseudo 'naut: They eat less
'Some might find this idea offensive' boffin admits
SECRET U.S. 'SPACE WARPLANE' set to return from SPY MISSION
Robot minishuttle X-37B returns after almost 2 years in orbit
LOHAN crash lands on CNN
Overflies Die Welt en route to lively US news vid
Experts brand LOHAN's squeaky-clean box
Phytosanitary treatment renders Vulture 2 crate fit for export
No sail: NASA spikes Sunjammer
'Solar sail' demonstrator project binned
America's super-secret X-37B plane returns to Earth after nearly TWO YEARS aloft
674 days in space for US Air Force's mystery orbital vehicle
Carry On Cosmonaut: Willful Child is a poor taste Star Trek parody
Cringeworthy, crude and crass jokes abound in Steven Erikson’s sci-fi debut
Origins of SEXUAL INTERCOURSE fished out of SCOTTISH LAKE
Fossil find proves it first happened 385 million years ago
Human spacecraft dodge COMET CHUNKS pelting off Mars
Odyssey orbiter yet to report, though - comet's trailing trash poses new threat
prev story

Whitepapers

Forging a new future with identity relationship management
Learn about ForgeRock's next generation IRM platform and how it is designed to empower CEOS's and enterprises to engage with consumers.
Why and how to choose the right cloud vendor
The benefits of cloud-based storage in your processes. Eliminate onsite, disk-based backup and archiving in favor of cloud-based data protection.
Three 1TB solid state scorchers up for grabs
Big SSDs can be expensive but think big and think free because you could be the lucky winner of one of three 1TB Samsung SSD 840 EVO drives that we’re giving away worth over £300 apiece.
Reg Reader Research: SaaS based Email and Office Productivity Tools
Read this Reg reader report which provides advice and guidance for SMBs towards the use of SaaS based email and Office productivity tools.
Security for virtualized datacentres
Legacy security solutions are inefficient due to the architectural differences between physical and virtual environments.