Monday, May 17, 2010
Blossom Bats and Woolly Rats and Frogs That Inflate Their Nose -- Oh My!
In Indonesia, scientists have identified a hot spot for biodiversity. Originally discovered in 2008, the incredible variety of species in this area have been independently verified. Included in the mix are a bat that feeds only on the nectar of rain forest flowers, a giant woolly rat, the world's smallest wallaby, and a frog that calls to mates by inflating its nose, rather than its throat.
CNN), the 300,000 square hectares of pristine rain forest are "a profound species generator" and a "critical carbon-sink for the planet." (Indonesia was also recently in the news for being the home of a new species of Monitor Lizard, discovered outside of a small village in the Philippines.)
These new discoveries serve as a great reminder that there is still so much to learn about this planet and the species that live on it. With a little luck, this surge of discovery in Indonesia will help to protect some of the more delicate ecosystems for posterity. It might even help us learn a little more about ourselves!
Have you been talking about biodiversity and unique species in your classrooms? Tell us about it!