Archive for December 22nd, 2008

 I am sure many of you have heard about this, but as I was on a break for a while, I did not get a chance to write about it. 

Recently, scientists discovered a treasure trove of 1,068 new species, including 519 plants, 279 fish, 88 frogs, 88 spiders, 46 lizards, 22 snakes, 15 mammals, 4 birds, 4 turtles, 2 salamanders and 1 toad, were found in the Mekong Delta region of Vietnam.   Scientists are still cataloguing all the insects they discovered.  This prolific number equates to 2 new species being found each and every week.  This is around Amongst the new species are a rat believed to be extinct for 11 million years, a spider with a foot-long legspan, and a hot pink cyanide-producing “dragon millipede.”

The "dragon millipede" is among the 1,068 new species discovered in the Mekong Delta region.
A Dragon Millipede which secretes cynide

The rediscovered Laotian rock rat is a hairy, nocturnal, thick-tailed rat, which resembles a squirrel.  It was not seen by any reputable source for several centuries.  Also discovered was a bright green pit viper, whose amazing coloration is an eye-opener. 

Not all of the news was good however,  a horned bovine (cow) discovered in 1991 in the mountains of Laos and Vietnam was not found in the past few years.

The study comes at a critical time for the environment of southeast Asia.  Timber development and mining industries are quickly delving into the forest.  Climate change is causing huge changes in the climate strata of the moutnains.  Many restaurants serve endangered animals as food.  The richer you are, the more obscure and strange animals you eat.  It is a symbol of status.

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