New Species In Indonesia’s ‘Lost World’

A komodo dragon is just one of Indonesia's zoological treasures.
A komodo dragon is just one of Indonesia's zoological treasures.

One of the biggest rewards from having booked a trip to Indonesia with no guide book or set itinerary was the sheer pleasure of discovery.

Apparently, scientists are in the same boat.

This week, Time magazine published a slideshow of new species discovered in New Guinea, an island “lost world” that lies partially within Indonesia’s eastern border and abounds in flora and fauna.

The animals added to the zoological canon were discovered in the Foja Mountains during a 2008 expedition. The area lies within the largest undeveloped section of rainforest in the Asia-Pacific region, which made it a logistical feat to survey.

Among the new species are a tree frog with an inflatable nose, an 18-inch wooly rat (R.O.U.S., anyone?), imperial pigeons, spectacular butterflies and a tiny wallaby, kin to the kangaroo.

Naturally, the discoveries went far beyond anything I saw (komodo dragon, orangutan, etc.) on my trip to the Jakarta zoo, yet it was heartening to see that “the known world” is still growing and the old adage holds true:

The more you know, the more you realize you don’t know.

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3 thoughts on “New Species In Indonesia’s ‘Lost World’

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