Wednesday, September 16, 2015
New species: handsome and deadly
Not all new species are harmless little invertebrates or cute mammals. The Kimberly death adder, about 60cm long, is undeniably a handsome creature, with its banded brownish-orange body and white belly, but it's just as undeniably dangerous. Acanthropis cryptamydros joins numerous other species of death adders all over the Australasian region. The number of known reptiles has passed 10,000 and is still rising steadily. (The official 10,000th was a gecko from Laos.) One estimate is there are another 1,300 reptiles awaiting description, but it may be considerably higher. There's a lot of foliage left in the world to conceal species that are well adapted to their environments and generally good at hiding.