Tuesday, August 06, 2013

Newest mammal (again!)

How many times have I run a headline about "newest mammal species?" I think I'm making my point. 

Here's the newest.

 In the journal Zootaxa, we meet the Laotian giant flying squirrel (Biswamoyopterus laoensis). It comes from (sadly) a bushmeat market in Loas (technically now the Lao PDR).  The black and brown mammal was spotted by a team from the National University of Laos. Its exact habitat is unknown, as is its conservation status, but frankly there isn't a mamml in this region that isn't threatened - read Sy Montgomery's heartbreaking Search for the Golden Moon Bear. However, the first step in protecting any species is showing that it exists.  So best of luck to the squirrel and its discoverers and defenders.

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