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Nature & Environment

Amazon rainforest home to 441 new species

By T.K. Randall
October 24, 2013 · Comment icon 10 comments

The Amazon rainforest covers an area of over 5 million square kilometres. Image Credit: CC BY-SA 2.0 CIAT
Expeditions over the last four years have uncovered a treasure trove of previously undiscovered species.
A new species of monkey was among the discoveries, the "purring" Caqueta titi which has the unique trait of making noises like a cat. "All of the babies purr like cats," said scientist Thomas Defler. "When they feel very content they purr towards each other, and the ones we raised would purr to us."
Other finds include a peculiar species of lizard with extraordinary coloring on its skin and a vegetarian piranha fish that would rather munch on herbs than on meat like its infamous cousins. Many of the new finds were found to be highly adapted to niche environments within the Amazon and can be found nowhere else on Earth.

"The richness of the Amazon's forests and freshwater habitats continues to amaze the world," said Damian Fleming who headed up efforts to compile the list. "But these same habitats are also under growing threat. The discovery of these new species reaffirms the importance of stepping-up commitments to conserve and sustainably manage the unique biodiversity and also the goods and services provided by the rainforests to the people and businesses of the region."

Source: The Guardian | Comments (10)




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Recent comments on this story
Comment icon #1 Posted by Xanthurion2 11 years ago
Amazing how many different species we are just discovering and more we will probably never discover.
Comment icon #2 Posted by YukiEsmaElite0 11 years ago
I'd love to see those monkeys. They sound so cute! I'm curious if they act like cats in any ways more than that, though...
Comment icon #3 Posted by moonshadow60 11 years ago
What a shame. Things can't be discovered as quickly as they are destroyed in that part of the world. I did a web search on the monkeys. The look cute, but I bet they have quite a bite as well as the purr.
Comment icon #4 Posted by CRIPTIC CHAMELEON 11 years ago
Great
Comment icon #5 Posted by pallidin 11 years ago
I'm no hard-core environmentalist, but it seems clear to me that there is a great deal yet to be discovered, perhaps GREATLY benefiting mankind, yet the continual deforestation is making this harder and harder. Perhaps the World can have one less war, and instead put those monies towards rainforest preservation and supplying the indigenous with their needs.
Comment icon #6 Posted by Emeraldgemheart 11 years ago
This is amazing. But I agree with Pallidin. If they keep finding so many new species, think about how many we must have already destroyed.
Comment icon #7 Posted by pallidin 11 years ago
This is amazing. But I agree with Pallidin. If they keep finding so many new species, think about how many we must have already destroyed. That surely is a sad fact...
Comment icon #8 Posted by ancient astronaut 11 years ago
441 more species man can destroy.
Comment icon #9 Posted by Sundew 11 years ago
NIce, but a vegetarian piranha is not so unusual, the pacu is a common aquarium fish that is basically just that. And several true piranha will also eat seeds and fruit as part of their diet.
Comment icon #10 Posted by GS1981 11 years ago
Yep Pacu's and Silver Dollar's etc are all Characins similar to a Piranha, but they are not actually 'Piranha', just closely related cousins, would be interesting if they found a Pygocentrus species that was a veggie (only veggie, Piranhas eat a fair amount of fruit and veg themselves). Also a Pacu would happily and easily bite off your finger and eat it given the chance when adult lol so not strictly Veggie.


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