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Animal crackers; BOFFINS UNCOVER 1,000 NEW SPECIES IN ISLAND SEARCH.

Byline: CONOR SHIELS

A FROG with fangs, a blind snake and a round-headed dolphin are among 1,000 new species found on an island by World Wildlife Fund scientists.

The discoveries were made on New Guinea in the south-west Pacific ocean.

Experts believe one square kilometre of the island's lowland rainforest may contain as many as 150 bird species.

The finds were made at a rate of two per week over a 10-year period but scientists believe they have only scratched the surface of the island's magnificent ecosystem.

WWF spokesman Neil Stronach said: "This report shows New Guinea's forests and rivers are among the richest and most biodiverse in the world."

The island's rainforests are the third biggest in the world after the Amazon and the Congo.

And while it covers just 0.5% of the Earth's landmass New Guinea has up to 8% of its species.

But conservationists warn humans are destroying the island's natural habitat at "an alarming rate".

BLUE-EYED SPOTTED CUSCUS

A BLUE-eyed Spotted Cuscus (Spilocuscus Wilsoni) is a species of marsupial in the Phalangeridae family. It appears to be very rare, likely due to hunting and habitat loss.

PARYPHANTOPSIS MISIMENSIS

NINE new species of snails have been discovered in New Guinea, including paryphantopsis misimensis, a brilliant bright yellow-coloured snail found in the forests of the Louisiade Archipelago.

RAINBOWFISH

RAINBOWFISH are a family of small, colourful freshwater fish. They are usually less than 12cm in length. Rainbowfish live in a wide range of freshwater habitats, including rivers, lakes and swamps.

VARANUS MACRAEI

THE Blue-spotted Tree Monitor lizard (Varanus Macraei) is black with scattered blue scales, forming spots that may in turn form bands across the back.

SNUB-FINNED DOLPHIN

A SKULL of the new dolphin species was collected from Daru, New guinea. Scientists believe they occur mainly in shallow, coastal waters, especially beside river mouths.

LITORIA DUX

A LARGE green frog was discovered hiding in trees on the island.

Its striking eyes reminded scientists of the evil character Sauron in the lord Of The rings movies.

Another frog was notable for its vampirelike fangs.

CAPTION(S):

MAGNIFICENT Where the species were found Creature comforts Scientists found hundreds of new animals
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Publication:The Mirror (London, England)
Geographic Code:0PACR
Date:Jun 28, 2011
Words:362
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