Yoda, the Jedi Bat

Science in the News:

Yoda the Jedi bat, and his cool animal friends

Do you ever feel like you never see anything new?  Then you should go to New Guinea!  New Guinea is located north of Australia, and is the world’s second largest island.  It is about the same size as the state of California.  Even though it is not very big, New Guinea has an amazing amount of biodiversity. That means that there are lots and LOTS of different animals and plants there.

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In 2009, two scientific teams from an organization called Conservation International (along with their partners at New Guinea’s institute for Biological Research and A Rocha International) spent two months in the forest-covered mountains of New Guinea looking for new plants and animals.  In only two months, they found and documented 200 new species that had never before been described.

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Among the animals identified by the research teams were a tiny, pointy-nosed frog less than an inch long;  a funny, tube-nosed, fruit-eating bat that looks a lot like Yoda from the Star Wars movies, a katydid with bright pink eyes;  and a new kind of ant with spines on its back that scientists think live at the top of very tall trees.   Here are some pictures of these animals:

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All photos used by permission of Conservation International, copyright Piotr Naskrecki/iLCP

(the ant picure is copyrighted by Andrea Lucky)

Many plants and animals become endangered because their homes and environments are being destroyed.  Conservation International feels that it is important to find, describe, monitor, and protect the Earth’s amazing array of plants and animals.

Maybe someday you will discover  a funny new bug, a tiny monkey, or an unusual flower.  You might even name it after yourself!

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