Tuesday, March 06, 2007

What's New out of Africa

"ex Africa semper aliquid novi"
(there is always something new out of Africa)
- Pliny the Elder (23AD - 79AD)

This very old saying is still true in Tanzania's Eastern Arc Mountains, where a patchy collection of forested land equaling roughly a thousand square miles is keeping scientists very busy. In addition to a very distinctive new monkey, the kipunji (Rungwecebus kipunji, described in 2005), new species of frogs and reptiles have been identified, part of a conservation hot spot with one of the world's highest densities of endangered and endemic species. Neil Burgess of the WWF says, “This is a really important place. Biologists who go there just keep finding more and more species.”

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