Scores of rainforest species found

Biologists find spiders, frogs, plants and a gecko in Papua New Guinea.

    More than 50 new species were found
    during the expedition [AFP]

    Many of the creatures have characteristics previously unseen in the world's ecosystems.

    The newly named Litoria frog has a mating call that can be heard above the sound of water, while the Tabuina jumping spider propels itself by squeezing blood into its legs, which snaps them straight and catapults it into the air.

    The stripy gecko was also seen to use sharp claws to climb trees, rather than the typical pads seen on the feet of the species.

    'Unalloyed pleasure'

    Bruce Beehler, a scientist from Conservation International who was a member of the expedition, told Al Jazeera that the trip was difficult but "unalloyed pleasure".

    "Biologists going into tropical forests - it is always like a holiday," he said.

    However, he said that there was still more discoveries to be made.

    "In terms of new species there are thousands out there," he said.

    "Every time we go into the forest, into a place like [Papua] New Guinea, or Peru, or Ecuador, or some place in central Africa, we're going to come back with new species because these areas are very, very poorly known.

    "And the bigger picture is that we don't know our earth that well.

    "And to really protect our earth we need to know what's there, know what's important and know what we need to save."

    Beehler said that the new species were not in danger of extinction due to the abundant habitat with low human populations in which they lived.

    However, he did say that climate change poses a threat to them.

    SOURCE: Al Jazeera and agencies


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