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Thread: More than 1,000 species discovered in Mekong

  1. #1
    Lover of Mountains nightsky's Avatar
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    More than 1,000 species discovered in Mekong

    http://news.yahoo.com/s/afp/20081215...e_081215132156

    BANGKOK (AFP) Scientists have discovered more than 1,000 species in Southeast Asia's Greater Mekong region in the past decade, including a spider as big as a dinner plate, the World Wildlife Fund said Monday.

    A rat thought to have become extinct 11 million years ago and a cyanide-laced, shocking pink millipede were among creatures found in what the group called a "biological treasure trove".

    The species were all found in the rainforests and wetlands along the Mekong River, which flows through Cambodia, Laos, Myanmar, Thailand, Vietnam and the southern Chinese province of Yunnan.

    "It doesn't get any better than this," Stuart Chapman, director of WWF's Greater Mekong Programme, was quoted as saying in a statement by the group.

    "We thought discoveries of this scale were confined to the history books."

    The WWF report, "First Contact in the Greater Mekong", said that "between 1997 and 2007, at least 1,068 have been officially described by science as being newly discovered species."

    These included the world's largest huntsman spider, with a leg span of 30 centimetres (11.8 inches), and the "startlingly" coloured "dragon millipede", which produces the deadly compound cyanide.

    Not all species were found hiding in remote jungles -- the Laotian rock rat, which the study said was thought to be extinct about 11 million years ago, was first encountered by scientists in a local food market in 2005, it said.

    One species of pitviper was first noted by scientists after it was found in the rafters of a restaurant at the headquarters of Thailand's Khao Yai national park in 2001.

    "This region is like what I read about as a child in the stories of Charles Darwin," said Dr Thomas Ziegler, curator at the Cologne Zoo, who was involved in the research.

    "It is a great feeling being in an unexplored area and to document its biodiversity for the first time both enigmatic and beautiful," he said.

    The new species highlighted in the report include 519 plants, 279 fish, 88 frogs, 88 spiders, 46 lizards, 22 snakes, 15 mammals, four birds, four turtles, two salamanders and a toad -- an average of two previously undiscovered species a week for the past 10 years.

    The report warned, however, that many of the species could be at risk from development, and called for a cross-border agreement between the countries in the Greater Mekong area to protect it.
    It's amazing to think of how many undiscovered species may still exist somewhere in this world. The diversity of life is awesome.

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    Sundewist Dimka's Avatar
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    Just read it on Yahoo! a minute ago, was gonna post it here
    Really really cool.
    It is hard to always be a human being... people get in the way.

    An education was a bit like a communicable sexual disease. It made you unsuitable for a lot of jobs and then you had the urge to pass it on.
    - Terry Pratchett

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    Tropical Fish Enthusiast jimscott's Avatar
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    Why do images of Jurassic Park and 'Newman' come to mind....

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    Sundewist Dimka's Avatar
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    Personally I am very interested in the undiscovered life forms of the deep seas. So far, we've only been able to go only a little bit into the depths, certainly not even close to the 11km depths of the Pacific, and already we found tons of amazing glowing, shining, toothy, eyeless, evil-looking animals... Just imagine what waits deeper still...
    It is hard to always be a human being... people get in the way.

    An education was a bit like a communicable sexual disease. It made you unsuitable for a lot of jobs and then you had the urge to pass it on.
    - Terry Pratchett

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    Lover of Mountains nightsky's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Dimka View Post
    Personally I am very interested in the undiscovered life forms of the deep seas. So far, we've only been able to go only a little bit into the depths, certainly not even close to the 11km depths of the Pacific, and already we found tons of amazing glowing, shining, toothy, eyeless, evil-looking animals... Just imagine what waits deeper still...
    I agree. There is much to be uncovered yet in the vast oceans.

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    Doing it wrong until I do it right. xvart's Avatar
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    The WWF report, "First Contact in the Greater Mekong", said that "between 1997 and 2007, at least 1,068 have been officially described by science as being newly discovered species."
    I'm not sure I trust the World Wrestling Federation on something like this...

    xvart.
    "The tragedy of life is not that every man loses; but that he almost wins."

    "Quis custodiet ipsos custodes?"

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    JRFxtreme's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by xvart View Post
    I'm not sure I trust the World Wrestling Federation on something like this...

    xvart.
    Come on xvart, you think they should send some wimpy scientists when foot long spiders are involved?

    Any spider that big is just asking for the "people's elbow"!

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    Whats it to ya? Finch's Avatar
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    Let's pave paradise!
    that makes no logic

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