At least 441 new species of animals and plants have been discovered over a four year period in the vast, underexplored rainforest of the Amazon, including a monkey that purrs like a cat.
Found between 2010 and 2013, the species include a flame-patterned lizard, a thumbnail-sized frog, a vegetarian piranha, a brightly coloured snake, and a beautiful pink orchid, according to World Wildlife Fund (WWF).
Discovered by a group of scientists and compiled by WWF, the new species number 258 plants, 84 fish, 58 amphibians, 22 reptiles, 18 birds and one mammal. This total does not include countless discoveries of insects and other invertebrates.
“These species form a unique natural heritage that we need to conserve. This means protecting their home – the amazing Amazon rainforest – which is under threat from deforestation and dam development,” said Claudio Maretti, Leader of Living Amazon Initiative, WWF.
Some of the most remarkable species outlined in the report include:
• Flame-patterned lizard: This beautiful lizard was found from the hatchlings of eggs collected by scientists in the Colombian Amazon. An elusive species, Cercosaura hypnoides, has not been seen in the wild since the original eggs were collected, raising the prospect that it could potentially be endangered.
Read more at: Phys.org