The Amazon Continues To Reveal New Species

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Yesterday I posted a story about the latest impossible2Possible expedition, which is taking place in the Amazon at this very moment. The expedition is there to help promote the subject of biodiversity, and what better place to do so then in the most diverse location on the planet. According to a new report however, the Amazon may be even more diverse in terms of plant and animal species that we thought.

The World Wildlife Fund released the new report that it entitled Amazon Alive: A Decade of New Discoveries 1999-2009. That report says that so many new species were discovered in the Amazon Rainforest over the past decade that they averaged one new species every three days. Think about that. One new species every three days for a decade. That is an astounding figure.

The number of new creatures species discovered includes 637 plants, 257 fish, 216 amphibians, 55 reptiles, 16 birds and 39 mammals. Amongst them are a new breed of anaconda, the first discovered since 1936, a bald headed parrot that is incredibly bright in color, a distinct species of the pink river dolphins that is found only in Bolivia, and a large, blue-fanged spider that preys upon birds.

This report highlights not only all the species that we know about in the Amazon, but hints at the hundreds that are still out there, waiting to be discovered. Of course, it also underscores why we need to protect the place and the amazing biodiversity there. Many of these creatures are already seeing their habitats threatened, which is also part of the message from the WWF.

I love stories like this one. It continues to remind me just how little we know about our planet and how many discoveries we’re still making. Interesting stuff, and the report has some great images with it too.

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