April 22, 2010

‘Love Dart Snail’ Among New Species Discovered in Borneo

More than 120 new animal species, including a flying frog and a slug that can shoot, have been found in Borneo since 2007, according to a report by the conservation group WWF.

The report, which comes as part of the organization's Heart of Borneo project that launched in February 2007, also detailed the discovery of the world's longest indentified stick insect, a bright orange snake described as looking "flame-like" by Associated Press (AP) reporters, a lung-less frog that breathes through its skin, and a slug that can fire calcium carbonate darts to inject hormone into a mate.

In all, WWF officials report that they discovered 67 new plant species, 29 new types of invertebrates, 17 fish, five frogs, three snakes, a pair of new lizards and a newly discovered type of bird.

"We have been finding on average three new species a month and about 123 over the last three years, with at least 600 new species found in the last 15 years," Adam Tomasek, the head of the Heart of Borneo initiative told, told AFP reporters on Thursday.

"The new discoveries just show the wealth of biodiversity on Borneo island and the promise of many more future discoveries that could eventually help cure illnesses like cancer and AIDS and contribute to our daily lives," he added.

The WWF report was made public just one day following reports that one of the organization's camera traps had captured a rare, pregnant female Bornea rhino. There are believed to be less than 30 members of the rare rhinoceros species remaining in the world, which prompted rhino expert Dr. Terri Roth to call the possible forthcoming calf "a lifeline for the species" during an interview with AFP.


Click here for the full WWF report...


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