Tuesday, December 16, 2008

1,000s of New Species Discovered in Mekong

In the last 10 years more than 1,000 new species have been discovered in the Greater Mekong area, an area which occupies more than 600,000 square kilometers.

Among some of the interesting discoveries are a spider as large as a dinner plate (almost 12 inches across), a neon pink milipede that exudes cyanide from it's glands as a defense mechanism, and a species of rat that scientists had thought to be extinct more than 11 million years ago.

Stuart Chapman, the director of WWF's Greater Mekong programme, said: "We thought discoveries of this scale were confined to the history books. This reaffirms the Greater Mekong's place on the world map of conservation priorities."

Among the 15 mammals discovered in the region was the Laotian rock rat, Laonastes aenigmamus.

It was thought to have been extinct for 11 million years but a researcher spotted the corpse of one on sale in a food market in Laos in 2005. READ MORE>>> or just look at the pictures.

Wow, I guess even scientists need to be reminded how little they know.

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