Wednesday, October 30, 2013

Three new vertebrate species found in Australia

Cape Melville, Cape York, Queensland, Australia
Cape Melville in Australia contains a rugged mountain range that consists of large black granite boulders stacked high. The unique nature of this mountain range has allowed surveys of the base of the mountain but restricted access to the rainforest that sits atop a plateau. Now, a National Geographic expedition finally made it there, with the help of a helicopter to fly them in. Within several days of their arrival the scientists and film crew were surprised to find 3 new vertebrate species! The new species were named and described by Dr. Conrad Hoskins from James Cook University.

One of the species is especially unique, the Cape Melville Leaf-tailed Gecko, which, as its name suggests, has a broad flat tail at the end of its 20 cm body. The other species are the Cape Melville Shade Skink which is golden in color and the Blotched Boulder-frog whose range is completely restricted to the boulder fields at Cape Melville.

It is very surprising to find three new species anywhere, let alone in Australia which was thought to have been thoroughly explored.

Information for this blog was obtained from Science Daily