Tuesday, April 09, 2013

Latest mammal waddles in from Brazil

New mammal species? Yes, we keep finding them.

The latest is this new porcupine from Brazil.

The animal is from the "Pernambuco Endemism Centre in the Atlantic coast of northeastern Brazil north of the São Francisco river, one of the most important known biodiversity hotspots." It's distinguished from other porcupines mostly by the coloration of its quills.  That may seem kind of nitpicky, but it seems to matter to the porcupines.

OK, a new porcupine is not sasquatch. It's not even the giant peccary or the Australian snubfin dolphin.  But the important point is that every year brings the description of several new living mammals.  We don't know all of our closest cousins yet. The exhaustion of the mammal discovery business has been predicted many times, as it has for birds.  Isn't happening. 

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