Amazon rainforest home to 441 new species
October 24, 2013 | 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
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