Purring monkey among new species discovered in Amazon Rainforest

Date:

Share post:

At least 441 new species of animals and plants have been discovered over a four year period in the vast, underexplored rainforest of the Amazon, including a monkey that purrs like a cat.

Purring monkey among new species discovered in Amazon Rainforest
Cercosaura hypnoides, Colombia  [Credit: © Tiffany M Doan]

Found between 2010 and 2013, the species include a flame-patterned lizard, a thumbnail-sized frog, a vegetarian piranha, a brightly coloured snake, and a beautiful pink orchid, according to World Wildlife Fund (WWF).

Discovered by a group of scientists and compiled by WWF, the new species number 258 plants, 84 fish, 58 amphibians, 22 reptiles, 18 birds and one mammal. This total does not include countless discoveries of insects and other invertebrates.

“These species form a unique natural heritage that we need to conserve. This means protecting their home — the amazing Amazon rainforest — which is under threat from deforestation and dam development,” said Claudio Maretti, Leader of Living Amazon Initiative, WWF.

Some of the most remarkable species outlined in the report include:

Purring monkey among new species discovered in Amazon Rainforest
Allobates amissibilis, Guyana [Credit: © Philippe Kok]

Flame-patterned lizard: This beautiful lizard was found from the hatchlings of eggs collected by scientists in the Colombian Amazon. An elusive species, Cercosaura hypnoides, has not been seen in the wild since the original eggs were collected, raising the prospect that it could potentially be endangered.

Purring monkey among new species discovered in Amazon Rainforest
Tometes camunani, Brazil  [Credit: © Tommaso Giarrizzo]

Thumbnail-sized frog: This amphibian is already believed to be highly endangered. In fact, its Latin name, Allobates amissibilis, meaning “that may be lost,” alludes to this as the area where it thrives could soon be opened to tourism. This is now the third Allobates species found in Guyana.

Purring monkey among new species discovered in Amazon Rainforest
Chironius challenger, Guyana and Venezuela [Credit: © Philippe Kok]

Vegetarian Piranha: This new species of piranha, Tometes camunani, can span 20 inches wide and weigh up to 9 pounds, and is strictly herbivorous. The freshwater fish inhabits rocky rapids associated with seedlings of plants that grow among the rocks, its main source of food. Tometes is described from the upper drainages of the Trombetas River basin, Para, Brazilian Amazon.

Purring monkey among new species discovered in Amazon Rainforest
Sobralia imavieirae, Brazil [Credit: © Andre Cardoso]

A brightly coloured snake from the “Lost World”: Found in the mountains of Guyana, this brightly-colored snake species was named Chironius challenger after Arthur C. Doyle’s fictional character Professor George Edward Challenger in the novel, The Lost World.

Purring monkey among new species discovered in Amazon Rainforest
Callicebus caquetensis, Colombia [Credit: © Thomas Defler]

A beautiful pink orchid: Among the new plant species are a large number of new orchid species, including this splendid pink species, Sobralia imavieirae, officially described by scientists from Roraima in the Brazilian Amazon.

Purring monkey among new species discovered in Amazon Rainforest
Cercosaura hypnoides, Colombia  [Credit: © Tiffany M Doan]

Caqueta titi monkey: This new species, Callicebus caquetensis, is one of about 20 species of titi monkey, which all live in the Amazon basin. The babies have an endearing trait, “When they feel very content they purr towards each other,” explained scientist Thomas Defler.

Many of the new discoveries are believed to be endemic to the Amazon rainforest and are found nowhere else in the world. This makes them even more vulnerable to rainforest destruction that occurs every minute across the Amazon.

“Compiling and updating data on new species discovered in the vast extension of the Amazon over the last four years has shown us just how important the region is for humanity and how fundamentally important it is to research it, understand it and conserve it. The destruction of these ecosystems is threatening biodiversity and the services it provides to societies and economies. We cannot allow this natural heritage to be lost forever,” Maretti said.

Source: World Wildlife Fund [October 23, 2013]

ADVERTISEMENT

spot_img

Related articles

Layers of treasure to be uncovered on Australia’s Kangaroo Island

Researchers from the South Australian Museum have returned from their biannual field trip to fossil hotbeds on Kangaroo...

Bones of elephant ancestor, clovis points unearthed in Northern Mexico

An animal once believed to have disappeared from North America before humans ever arrived there might actually have...

Making organic molecules in hydrothermal vents in the absence of life

In 2009, scientists from Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution embarked on a NASA-funded mission to the Mid-Cayman Rise in...

Feeding the ravenous black hole at the center of our galaxy

Scientists at Princeton University and the U.S. Department of Energy's (DOE) Princeton Plasma Physics Laboratory (PPPL) have developed...

18.2 million people visited Mexico’s archaeological and cultural treasures in 2011

Mexican archaeological sites, museums and historical monuments attracted more than 18.2 million visitors in 2011, the National Anthropology...

Retracing an explorer’s footsteps to Machu Picchu

On July 24, 1911, Machu Picchu was found by an American historian, and this weekend many are celebrating...

Science on the trail of The Wolf and Little Red Riding Hood

New insights into the origins and development of folk tales such as Little Red Riding Hood are being...

NASA’s WISE colours in unknowns on Jupiter asteroids

Scientists using data from NASA's Wide-field Infrared Survey Explorer, or WISE, have uncovered new clues in the ongoing...