Tuesday, September 8, 2009

The wonderful species of the Mount Bosavi crater

I'm always fascinated by the discovery of new animal species. The recent discovery of over 40 new species of animals in the crater of Mt. Bosavi, in Papua New Guinea is tremendously exciting. The volcano last erupted 200,000 years ago, and is well isolation form other environments. Since isolation leads to speciation, its not surprising that many previously unknown species were discovered there, but the variety and uniqueness of some of the species discovered there is remarkable. The discovery is also significant because it strongly demonstrates the need for saving what rain forests remain.

The project was filmed, and photos were taken by the BBC Natural History Unit.

Here is the official report on the expedition:


The BBC website for "Lost Land of the Volcano" , showing this week. I can't get the videos to play, and the show can only be watched online in certain areas, but it's still worth checking out.


Here are some of my favorite animals that were discovered.

The Bosavi woolly rat. A cat sized rat, with no fear of humans. One sat quietly amidst a group of explorers when it was being filmed and photographed. Here's one with BBC producer Steve Greenwood.

A video of the giant Bosavi rat. It's so gentle that the explorers can easily pet it.


The Bosavi Silky Cuscus, a tree dwelling marsupial:


A new species of frog:

A hairy caterpillar:

These photos, and others from the expedition, can be found at:


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