The Lucid Amphibian And Other Mysteries Of The Amazon
The Amazon rain forest has yielded many interesting critters, but these new finds top the list when it comes to unusual animals.
Scientists from Conservation International have come back from an expedition in the Nangaritza Protected Forest in Ecuador with news of 12 previously unknown creatures and a lot of nearly extinct ones too.
Among them is a salamander that resembles E.T., a colorful lizard that looks as if it may spew fire any second, four different types of katydids and a poison dart frog.
And then there's the transparent frog, also called a glass or crystal frog. Hyalinobatrachium Pellucidum as it is known among scientists isn't a newly discovered species, but it is highly endangered.
Endemic to Ecuador, it is about the size of a fingernail when born, but as it grows, it can become as large as a grasshopper. The completely transparent creature has organs that look like red marshmallows placed in clear gelatin. Due to a fungus that is killing frogs all over the world and loss of habitat, it is slowly dying out. Finding it greatly reassured scientists that the glass frog hadn't gone extinct - yet!
The scientists also found some endangered harlequin frogs, as well as, a number of rarely seen species of birds. In times when all we read about is global warming and extinction, it's nice to hear about species actually being found and which can hopefully be saved from disappearing completely.