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Direct Link To This Post Topic: New Species Thread
    Posted: 01-Feb-2008 at 17:58

Brazil finds fossil of "missing link" to crocodile

Undated image of newly discovered prehistoric crocodile released by the Federal University...


Fri Feb 1, 1:19 AM EST

Brazilian paleontologists said on Thursday they had found the fossil of a new species of prehistoric predator that represented a "missing link" to modern-day crocodiles.

The well-preserved fossil of Montealtosuchus arrudacamposi, a medium-sized lizard-like predator measuring about 5 1/2 feet (1.7 meters) from head to tail, dates back about 80 million years to the Late Cretaceous period.

"This is scientifically important because the specimen literally is the link between more primitive crocodiles that lived in the era of the dinosaurs 80-85 million years ago and modern species," said paleontologist Ismar de Souza Carvalho of Rio de Janeiro Federal University.

Montealtosuchus arrudacamposi, an agile terrestrial predator of the Peirosauridae family, had different habits from today's crocodiles but it was similar in form and structure despite having longer limbs, scientists said.

The fossil was found near the town of Monte Alto in Sao Paulo state and is named after the place and the local scientist who dug up the fossil in 2004 -- Arruda Campos.

The new species is one of a number of important finds by paleontologists in Brazil and Argentina over the past few years.

(Reporting by Leonardo Teixeira and Andrei Khalip; Editing by David Storey)

(c) Reuters 2008. All rights reserved.

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Direct Link To This Post Posted: 19-Feb-2008 at 09:41
Thanks Red. I've got another one to add to the new species list - "The Frog from Hell!"

'Frog from hell' fossil unearthed
Artist's impression of the "frog from hell"

A 70-million-year-old fossil of a giant frog has been unearthed in Madagascar by a team of UK and US scientists.

The creature would have been the size of a "squashed beach ball" and weighed about 4kg (9lb), the researchers said.

They added that the fossil, nicknamed Beelzebufo or "frog from hell", was "strikingly different" from present-day frogs found on the island nation.

Details of the discovery are reported in the journal Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences (PNAS).

The team from University College London (UCL) and Stony Brook University, New York, said the frog would have had a body length of about 40cm (16 inches), and was among the largest of its kind to be found.

"This frog, a relative of today's horned toads, would have been the size of a slightly squashed beach-ball, with short legs and a big mouth," explained co-author Susan Evans, from UCL's Department of Cell and Developmental Biology.

"If it shared the aggressive temperament and 'sit-and-wait' ambush tactics of [present-day] horned toads, it would have been a formidable predator on small animals.

"Its diet would most likely have consisted of insects and small vertebrates like lizards, but it's not impossible that Beelzebufo might even have munched on hatchling or juvenile dinosaurs."

The researchers added that the discovery of the fossil supported the theory that Madagascar and the Indian and South American land masses could have been linked until the Late Cretaceous Period (75-65 million years ago).

"Our discovery of a frog strikingly different from today's Madagascan frogs, and akin to the horned toads previously considered endemic to South America, lends weight to the controversial model," Professor Evans explained.

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Direct Link To This Post Posted: 19-Feb-2008 at 22:27
thanks for sharing that knights, i remember reading that article on the big frog. pretty interesting stuff. it made me actually search for what is the biggest frog in the world which is called the "goliath frog." Very big which can weigh up to 7 lbs. I wonder how big those tadpoles are...
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Direct Link To This Post Posted: 19-Feb-2008 at 22:35
I'd imagine they'd be pretty huge. Reminds me of a funny case though - a species called the Paradoxical Frog Pseudis paradoxa. The tadoples are around 25-30cm long, while the frog stage is only about 7cm! That's crazy...
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Direct Link To This Post Posted: 19-Feb-2008 at 22:39
^^^^^^^^^^   Kind of like modern bugs like the mayfly and a load of other examples I can't think of right now, where the larva is ten+ times bigger than the final incarnation.
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Direct Link To This Post Posted: 29-Feb-2008 at 22:43
In December was published the discovery of a new Lizard in Canary Islands, the scientifics believe that was extingued with the arrival of the europeans 500 years ago, but is alive!:
 
 

La Palma, 20/12/2007

The giant lizard is not extinguished
 
The giant lizard of La Palma, a species that was believed to be extinct and was searched for more than a decade, has been found, told Efe the biologist Jose Antonio Matthew from the Giant Lizard Center Recovery in La Gomera.
 
Mateo explained that some photographs taken during the summer showed the existence of this large lizard, the last animal of its kind in the western islands of the Canary Islands remained to be discovered. Doctor of Biology at the University of Seville, Mateo argues that the photos are a tangible evidence of the survival of the giant lizard of La Palma, a species listed by the specialists as Gallotia auaritae.
 
According to Mateo, on 13 July this year Luis Enrique Mnguez, of the Institute for Cinegetic Resources Search (IREC), in a walk to the northeast of La Palma, was surprised at the presence of a large lizard located along to a track located some 45 meters above sea level.
 
The lizard, which was about a dozen meters from the observer, hardly disturbed with his presence and moved smoothly between vegetation next to the road, an attitude that allowed for a series of photographs with telephoto.
 
The analysis of the images could conclude that the lizard presented bearing and appearance of a male lizard with dorsal coloration and very dark colors without spots.
 
Mateo, along with a team of experts visited the place of discovery, where the visual references next to the animal (stones and plants) allowed estimating that the lizard measuring between 157 and 167 millimetres from the snout to the sewer, with a total length half between 301 and 312 millimetres.
 
Ensures that the expert if you apply the parameters of the giant lizard in La Gomera this size corresponds to an animal about 4 or 5 years and weighing approximately 170 grams.
 
 
 
 
 
I know by other sources that is related with the lizards from El Hierro.


Edited by Ikki - 29-Feb-2008 at 22:48
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Direct Link To This Post Posted: 01-Mar-2008 at 21:50
Guys, just out of curiorsity, are there more species being dicovered in the last decade than before? because there seems to be more news about new species than before.
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Direct Link To This Post Posted: 01-Mar-2008 at 21:55
www.theage.com.au/.../03/18/1174152881573.html
 
 
And along came another spider
 
 
 
The%20tiger%20huntsman%20is%20believed%20to%20be%20a%20new%20species.
Article by: Chee Chee Leung
March 19, 2007
 
 
 
AS IF huntsman spiders were not creepy enough, there may be more of the hairy kind around. Melbourne Museum has discovered what is believed to be a new huntsman species.

The distinctive spider, dubbed the tiger huntsman for its orange and black markings, was found by museum staff on a collecting trip to north Queensland.

Live exhibits co-ordinator and self-confessed spider nut Alan Henderson said he knew he was on to something special when he spotted the spider in a rainforest outside Cairns.

"I've always been excited about spiders, but to see something that I've never ever seen before and never even seen a photograph of is pretty exciting," Mr Henderson said. "Up until that moment I didn't think anything that colourful existed in Australia."

After the team returned to Melbourne, photographs of the female huntsman which has a 35-millimetre body and a legspan of about 90 millimetres were sent to spider experts around the country, but none recognised it.

But confirmation it is a new species of huntsman will not be possible until it dies and scientists can examine it under a microscope.

The huntsman lives for about two years, and this one is believed to be about a year old. It feasts on live crickets and cockroaches.

It was added this month to the museum's Bugs Alive! exhibit, where it can show off what Mr Henderson describes as excellent climbing and jumping skills.

"Once she jumped and then in mid-air turned and landed on the opposing surface," he said. "I held up the 10-card for that."



Edited by Siege Tower - 01-Mar-2008 at 21:58
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Direct Link To This Post Posted: 01-Mar-2008 at 22:03
Thanks for the updates Ikki and ST. Yes Siege Tower, species are being discovered at an exponential rate - with our advancing technology and expeditions further into the deep sea, jungle and caves, species just keep popping up. 
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Direct Link To This Post Posted: 01-Mar-2008 at 22:47
ShockedIf I ever came across that spider Siege posted, I'd probably wet myself.
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Direct Link To This Post Posted: 02-Mar-2008 at 03:50
haha J , actually i heard that most huntsman spiders are quiet gentle and are not known for toxicity and aggression, they are way less dangerous tarantulas. Wiki also says that when some Australian gardeners encounters huntsman spiders, they would rather keep the huntsman spiders than kill them, because they feed on insects. 

Edited by Siege Tower - 02-Mar-2008 at 03:52
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Direct Link To This Post Posted: 02-Mar-2008 at 05:59
That is very true Siege. Huntsman spiders are great for insect control. And it is also true that they are known to be "friendly" spiders. In fact they are the only spiders I have allowed to run up my arm without me going ballistic. Very unusual, it is a strange and scary sensation.
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Direct Link To This Post Posted: 02-Mar-2008 at 06:23
Interesting, so one could liken them to daddy long legs in a sense?  I know tons of people weary of spiders, myself included, but I rarely come across people unnerved by daddy long legs.  I use to play with them as a kid.  They are almost viewed as incredibly ugly pets.  (though I also use to spend all day playing with garter, or is it garder..., snakes in my yard so this may not be the norm)Wink 
 
I'll second Knights on the peculiar sensation that a spider running along one's skin causes.  There was one time I was at camp, wearing shorts, and discovered a wolf spider larger than my hand was "chilling" on my calf.  (I had felt it crawling up my leg but didn't connect that to an animate creature, thought it was the wind)  Swear it took 5 years off my life, felt like I broke my leg from kicking as hard as I could, that poor thing just went flying.  (in fairness I was like 8)
 
Edit:  I'm probably exaggerating its size, like the one that got away fish stories, (I have plenty of those tooLOL) I'll just say it seemed like the size of my hand, and I'm not sure it was a wolf spider, just my guess.  It looked like a tarantula. 


Edited by Justinian - 02-Mar-2008 at 06:29
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Direct Link To This Post Posted: 02-Mar-2008 at 06:32
LOL @ Justinian. Sorry...it was pretty funny. No need to feel ashamed though; even the immortal Knights is afraid of some animals, in particular Blue Tongue Lizards and Phasmids. Long story.
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Direct Link To This Post Posted: 03-Mar-2008 at 22:59
WinkEmbarrassed
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Direct Link To This Post Posted: 04-Mar-2008 at 01:42
Originally posted by Knights

LOL @ Justinian. Sorry...it was pretty funny. No need to feel ashamed though; even the immortal Knights is afraid of some animals, in particular Blue Tongue Lizards and Phasmids. Long story.


you too, i always have a problem with reptile, they just freak me out.LOL
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Direct Link To This Post Posted: 26-Mar-2008 at 02:45
 New Bird Species Discovered (March 17, 2008)
 
An artists rendering of Zosterops somadikartai, or Togian white-eye. (Credit: Photo by Agus Prijono)
 
 
Ornithologists, including one from Michigan State University, describe for science a new species of bird from the Togian Islands of Indonesia Zosterops somadikartai, or Togian white-eye, in the March edition of The Wilson Journal of Ornithology.

Its eye isnt ringed in a band of white feathers like its cousins who flock in other remote tropical islands of Indonesia. Still, it has many features in common with the black-crowned white-eye Zosterops atrifrons of Sulawesi, which is clearly its closest relative, said MSUs Pamela Rasmussen, an internationally known ornithologist specializing in Asian birds.

What this discovery highlights is that in some parts of the world there are still virtually unexplored islands where few ornithologists have worked, Rasmussen said. The world still holds avian surprises for us.

The Togian white-eye first was spotted by Mochaamad Indrawan, an Indonesian field biologist at the Depok Campus of the University of Indonesia, and Sunarto (some Indonesians use a single name), who is now working on a doctorate at Virginia Tech, 12 years ago during their first trip to the Togian Islands.

Those first sightings were fleeting, but Indrawan and Sunarto returned and made several more observations of these active little green birds, and obtained the type specimen upon which the species description is now founded. The type specimen was then sent on loan to Rasmussen at the MSU Museum, so she could make detailed comparisons between it and related species at museums such as Britains Natural History Museum, the American Museum in New York and the Smithsonian Institution.

The new bird is believed to be endangered. The white-eye has been seen only near the coasts of three small islands of the Togian Islands in central Sulawesi. Unlike most white-eye species, it is evidently quite uncommon even in its very limited range. Considering its limited numbers and distribution, it falls into the World Conservation Union category of endangered. This finding also establishes the Togian Islands as an endemic bird area.

This finding shows that equal opportunities are beneficial for the development of science and in particular that international cooperation can boost capacities in addressing poorly known biology in the tropics, Indrawan said. This finding of the bird is only the beginning given the vast opportunities with Indonesian landscapes and seascapes of endemic flora and fauna.

The species is named for Soekarja Somadikarta, Indonesias leading taxonomist and mentor to Indrawan. Somadikarta was recently appointed honorary president for International Ornithological Congress XXV.

Rasmussen noted that the Togian white-eye is distinctive not only in appearance, but its lilting song, which Indrawan recorded and Rasmussen committed to sonogram, sounds higher pitched and is less varied in pitch than its close relatives.

 


Edited by Darius of Parsa - 26-Mar-2008 at 02:46
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Direct Link To This Post Posted: 27-Mar-2008 at 03:54
I found this astonishing.
 
 
 
By Robin Lloyd
Senior Editior

A new species of sea anemone has been found in the carcass of a whale that sunk to the ocean floor off the coast of Monterey, California, marking the first discovery of one of these filter-feeding marine animals living in a so-called whale fall.

Whale falls, the resting place of a dead whale, provide temporary but important nutrition boosts and habitats for deep-sea life. The flesh of the dead whale decomposes within weeks, but the bones can last anywhere from 60 to 100 years as bacteria break down the bones, releasing sulfur that aquatic creatures use to make energy.

The anemone, called Anthosactis pearseae, is small, white and roughly cube-shaped. It's about the size of a human molar and even looks like a tooth with small tentacles on one side.

Story continues below ↓
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The anemone was named after Vicki Pearse, the University of California, Santa Cruz, naturalist who found and collected the anemone during a Pacific cruise taken by the Monterey Bay Aquarium Research Institute's research vessel, Western Flyer. Ten anemone specimens, including the newly named one, that she gathered were sent for identification and closer study to biologist Meg Daly, an anemone specialist at Ohio State University.

"These creatures were so cool simply because we knew that no sea anemone had ever been found on a whale fall," Daly said in a prepared statement.

The new anemone species is distinctive for the uniform length of its tentacles, a characteristic shared by the seven species of sea anemones in the genus Anthosactis.

The anemone was collected, like all deep-sea animals, via a tedious process that involves underwater video cameras attached to remotely operated vehicles (ROVs). ROVs have robotic arms and suction devices that are used to collect ocean species.

Whale falls might seem like strange places for marine life to dine and dwell, but once carcasses fall, they are excellent food and real estate for sea creatures.

"A whale dies where it dies, and its carcass lands wherever," Daly said. "But these are actually some of the most stable deep sea communities."



Edited by Darius of Parsa - 27-Mar-2008 at 03:55
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Direct Link To This Post Posted: 27-Mar-2008 at 09:19
You're keeping on the ball Darius! Thanks for the information - it's amazing how we are always discovering new species, and even just beginning to learn about new trophic communities as well (like the whale-fall micro-ecosystem).
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Direct Link To This Post Posted: 28-Mar-2008 at 01:25

It is perplexing how organisms have adapted to such enviorments, and how creatures depend on one another for survival. The article below is about a new species, of its own new subspecies of jellyfish.

 

 

 

The creature is described as the first member of a new subfamily of jellyfish.

The massive jelly is particularly unusual because it lacks tentacles. From its giant, red, bell-shaped body protrude between four and seven short, thick arms.

"The discovery of Big Red is a little like finding the first member of the cat family," says Larry Madin, a marine biologist at the Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution in Massachusetts. "It is a pretty interesting find."

"We know almost nothing about it. What it does. What it eats. What eats it," says George Matsumoto, a jelly specialist at the Monterey Bay Aquarium Research Institute in California, who named the species.

"It's very large, it's a predator, and we assume that it must play an important role in the deep sea," says Matsumoto. It's also pretty common. It has been spotted more than two dozen times off the coasts of California, Oregon, Washington and Hawaii.

"When I first saw a picture of Big Red, it was just a matter of seconds before I realized that this was something very different," says Matsumoto. He and his colleagues have published their discovery and description of the new species online in the journal Marine Biology.

New Life Forms

In the last 20 years, using scuba, manned and unmanned submersibles, scientists have discovered more than 50 new species of jellies. Madin, an expert on jellies, has discovered more than half a dozen species.

When scientists discover a new life form they assign it a formal scientific name which describes how closely it is related to other creatures. Each name has seven components: Kingdom, Phylum, Class, Order, Family, Genus and Species. Kingdom is the broadest category; species is the most specific. Animals within each of these categories share certain characteristics. All domestic housecats, for example, are members of the same species. Lions and tigers each belong to different species, but share enough similarities that they belong to the same genus: Panthera.

But more differences imply that a new specimen may belong to a new category altogether.

 


Edited by Darius of Parsa - 28-Mar-2008 at 01:25
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