"Lost World" owes its popularity as a term to the 1912 novel by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle (yes, THAT A. Conan Doyle), with a modern boost from the Jurassic Park films and some really bad films of Doyle's novel. Biologists are careful about using it for every newly investigated patch of forest or mountain yielding new species, but the press loves it, and the scientists sometimes go along.
The latest use concerns a plateau in Australia's Cape Melville Range never properly surveyed by biological scientists. While no dinosaurs turned up, the herps of this region offered plenty of surprises. One scientist called the Cape Melville
Leaf-tailed Gecko the "strangest new species to come across my desk
in 26 years working as a professional herpetologist." The 20-cm lizard has long legs, big eyes, and a camouflage pattern that's astonishing effective: it just disappears against many backdrops. A golden skink and a rather pretty frog completed the initial haul. Dr Conrad
Hoskin of James Cook University commented, "...to
be able to walk into a new mountain range and find several new animals
immediately shows that there must be very many more out there."