Thursday, June 04, 2009

Species hunting in Papua New Guinea

Professor John Lane is spending his summer vacation on the isalnd of New Britain in Papua New Guinea. He was there two years ago and discovered the small island had a population of tree kangaroos, something never documented before. Now he wants more evidence, inluding a live-trapped specimen, because it's starting to look like the New Britain tree kangaroo may be a new species. He also expects to net new species of insects, particularly butterflies, on the little-explored island.
Lane is intrigued by local reports of some kind of large, odd-looking flying creature. The late cryptozoologist Scott Norman thought he saw one of these in PNG a few years ago. It was called the ropen and was occasionally conjectured to be a surviving pterosaur. Lane isn't about to endorse Mesozoic suvivors, but he'll keep his mind and his eyes open.

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