Category: New Discoveries

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New Discoveries: Myanmar Jerdon’s Babbler

New Discoveries: Myanmar Jerdon’s Babbler

More of a re-discovery, than a new discovery; this little bird was thought to be extinct for the past 70+ years! Previously, the last sighting of this bird was in 1941! It was first discovered by British naturalist T.C. Jerdon, in 1862.

Their habitat was diminished by the development of local communities; with humans building on the habitat they had demolished. The Myanmar Jerdon’s Babbler lives in grasslands and floodplains, in Myanmar.

This bird is small (like a Sparrow), measuring 16-17cm in length; brown in colour, with a pale underside. The Myanmar Jerdon’s Babbler has a distinctive call, which is what led the team to the re-discovering of this little creature – the call was heard, recorded, and played back; resulting in a reply from the bird itself! The team has estimated there to be a population of approximately 10,000.

Hopefully, this once ‘extinct’ species will continue to rise, and make a come-back!

Open Source Google Image
Myanmar Jerdon’s Babbler – Open Source Google Image
New Discoveries: Atlantic Coast Leopard Frog

New Discoveries: Atlantic Coast Leopard Frog

A new discovery in December 2014, as well as almost 80 years ago! Ecologist Carl Kauffeld claimed this little species existed, back in 1937; however, at the time, received no scientific recognition for it. The Atlantic Coast Leopard Frog – Rana Kauffeldi was named to honour the man who originally discovered this species.

Atlantic Coast Leopard Frog (open source: Wikipedia)
Atlantic Coast Leopard Frog (open source: Wikipedia)

The colourations of this little frog range from light greens to greys, with darks spots and stripes. The colouration of an individual can lighten/ darken according to seasons; so as to blend in better with the undergrowth, to avoid detection by predators. The Atlantic Coast Leopard Frog lives in the damp ground, where there is vegetation/ plants for cover; as well as near/ in shallow waters. The shallow waters are also the site for breeding.

With this new (or old) discovery, the total of Leopard Frog species is now 19. Northern and Southern Leopard Frogs, however is distinctly different genetically. This is what makes this a new species; its’ genetic diversity from other, similar species. However, this new species also has a unique trait, that contributes to its’ individualism; the sound it makes sounds more like a cough than a croak.

2014 welcomed this little frog species as a (new) recognised species.

New Discoveries: Tuco-tuco

New Discoveries: Tuco-tuco

Did you know that we are still discovering new species?

Over a period of posts, I will go through a few new discoveries from 2014…

Four new species of Tuco-tuco (small rodent) has been discovered in Bolivia in 2014. The Tuco-tuco is named after the “tuc tuc” vocalisation they make. There were thought to be eight species of Tuco-tuco in Bolivia; but with these new discoveries there are now twelve species of this little rodent species in this area. There are around 65 species scattered throughout South America.

They are classified as Mammals, of the order Rodent, and the genus Ctenomys. They are a small burrowing rodent, with large front teeth. Their closest relative is thought to be the Degu.

The Tuco-tuco is a herbivore, primarily feeding on grass. As well as grazing; grass (and other vegetation) is collected, and stored in burrows.

The Tuco-tuco measures between 18-30cm long, and weighs less than half a kilogram! They are fairly sedentary by nature (couch-potatoes if it was you or me!); however some species are social, others are not. They are a diurnal species – meaning that they are most active at dawn and dusk, and spend a lot of time above ground compared to most rodent species.

Open source Google image


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