Saturday, October 26, 2013

Meanwhile, in Suriname...

Another batch of new species.  Sixty of them, to be exact.  In this case, researchers had a rare untrammeled habitat to examine. Dr. Leeanne Alonso, an entomologist who led a recent expedition for Conservation International, said, "I have conducted expeditions all over the world, but never have I seen such beautiful, pristine forests so untouched by humans. Southern Suriname is one of the last places on earth where there is a large expanse of pristine tropical forest. The high number of new species discovered is evidence of the amazing biodiversity of these forests that we have only just begun to uncover."
Does modern technology make these expeditions easy? Easier, yes. Easy" Hell, no.  Dr. Trond Larsen's blog about a flooding river drowning the expedition's camps and nearly drowning him makes compelling reading.
He adds his own thoughts on the findings: "...we were surprised and uplifted to discover so many frogs potentially new to science, including a stunningly sleek “cocoa” tree frog. Among the new fishes, we found a gorgeous, miniature tetra with a golden body and red eyes, similar to the head-and-tail-light tetra so popular among aquarists."

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