In the misty highlands of Mount Kaputar in Australia scientists have uncovered a hidden ecosystem.
In a high-altitude haven that has been cut off for millions of years, giant fluorescent pink slugs and cannibalistic snails eke out an existence in the undergrowth at the mountain top. These species have survived from a time when much of eastern Australia was covered in rainforest thanks to a volcanic eruption that took place up to 17 million years ago.
"It's a tiny island of alpine forest, hundreds of kilometres away from anything else like it," said ranger Michael Murphy. "The slugs, for example, are buried in the leaf mould during the day, but sometimes at night they come out in their hundreds and feed off the mould and moss on the trees. They are amazing, unreal-looking creatures."
"High in the mists that shroud Mount Kaputar, near Narrabri in north-western NSW, scientists have discovered a secret world."
View: Full article | Source: The Age
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