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December 23, 2008 10:43 AM   Subscribe

British scientists discover hundreds of new species in a remote forest in Mozambique using Google Earth. The pictures are the best part.
posted by auralcoral (37 comments total) 18 users marked this as a favorite

 
That bug (a true bug, apparently) in picture four must be the prettiest color palette I've ever seen on a single animal.
posted by Nomiconic at 10:51 AM on December 23, 2008


Unfortunately in Street View all the animal's faces are blurred out.
posted by ook at 10:54 AM on December 23, 2008 [7 favorites]


that was my favorite too! besides the snake that is...
posted by auralcoral at 10:54 AM on December 23, 2008


Well, now I can finally check off "see butterflies doing it" from my 2008 New Years Resolutions list. Just in time for '09, thanks!
posted by inigo2 at 10:54 AM on December 23, 2008


Or, you can check out this film for all sorts of bugs doing it.
posted by auralcoral at 10:57 AM on December 23, 2008


The bug is awesome. The whole thing is awesome.

To his surprise he found the patches of green that denote wooded areas, in places that had not previously been explored. After taking a closer look on more detailed satellite maps, he went to have a look.

I love scientists.
posted by rtha at 10:59 AM on December 23, 2008 [1 favorite]


It's pretty exciting that there are still things to be discovered out there. I'm always bummed when I consider that I was probably born too late to explore Earth and too early to explore Space.

I could always explore the ocean, but that's just a scary area I don't want to be in.
posted by Solon and Thanks at 10:59 AM on December 23, 2008 [2 favorites]


That olive bird & the pygmy chameleon are groovy too. Nice find.
posted by yoga at 11:05 AM on December 23, 2008 [1 favorite]


Excellent, my tropical hardwood exploration company was just looking for some new territory to clearcut in the South Indian Ocean region. Thanks, Dr. Bayliss!
posted by Pollomacho at 11:07 AM on December 23, 2008 [2 favorites]


Reading the article, HUNDREDS, in the OP is hyperbole. The articles says they only found a few. That bug is really cool looking.
posted by bigmusic at 11:14 AM on December 23, 2008


Are we sure someone didn't just paint that bug at one of those paint your own pottery places?
posted by Astro Zombie at 11:20 AM on December 23, 2008 [1 favorite]


Wonderfully previously-unseen-by-some animals! It's cute how some people think something is new if they haven't seen it yet. They aren't new. Previously undocumented by Western scientists, sure. I bet there are some folks watching these people parade out of the are with these animals thinking "look how happy they are with that bug. I hope they don't try to eat it, those things taste nasty."
posted by cashman at 11:22 AM on December 23, 2008 [3 favorites]


They aren't new. Previously undocumented by Western scientists, sure.

Previously undocumented by science. Scientists from Asia and Africa hadn't seen them before either. I'm not sure what you mean by "Western," as Japanese scientists engage in the same science as European or American scientists.

Maybe a local person has seen them before. Did they memorialize that observation in any way that is useful to anyone, including themselves or their future generations? No, which means that from the viewpoint of human knowledge and understanding, it's the same as if no one has seen them before.

The point is that the total body of scientific knowledge about life on earth is larger than it was prior to this discovery.

Think of it this way. Humans have seen living saber tooth tigers and woolly mammoths. Humans have seen them walking around, have hunted them, and have eaten them.

But almost everything we know about those creatures, especially from the biological standpoint, comes scientists studying the bones of dead animals many thousands of years older than them.
posted by Pastabagel at 11:35 AM on December 23, 2008 [7 favorites]


That first pygmy chameleon? WANT.

When I fly around Google Earth looking for forests to explore, it's procrastination. When Timberlake does it, it's SCIENCE!
posted by HE Amb. T. S. L. DuVal at 11:39 AM on December 23, 2008 [1 favorite]


Reading the article, HUNDREDS, in the OP is hyperbole. The articles says they only found a few.

"In just three weeks, scientists led by a team from the Royal Botanic Gardens in Kew found hundreds of different plant species, birds, butterflies, monkeys and a new species of giant snake."

I'll take the olive sunbird, that beak is sooooo long.
posted by soelo at 11:48 AM on December 23, 2008


Needs more Hobbitses.
posted by ryoshu at 11:59 AM on December 23, 2008


that is the cutest olive bird ever!
posted by francesca too at 12:00 PM on December 23, 2008


Picture 15: Jonathan Timberlake recording vegetation

Or is the vegetation recording him? (see ape shaped mound of green to the left of Timberlake)
posted by JoeXIII007 at 12:06 PM on December 23, 2008


So cool to take a mini trip there. Thanks.
posted by nickyskye at 12:22 PM on December 23, 2008


Wasn't that horrendous pink millipede from there, too?

Whoops, no -- Thailand. Still pretty cool. The thing exudes hydrogen cyanide.
posted by Guy_Inamonkeysuit at 12:52 PM on December 23, 2008


OP:
British scientists discover hundreds of new species
Article:
[the team] found hundreds of different plant species, birds, butterflies, monkeys and a new species of giant snake.

So far three new butterflies and one new species of snake have been discovered...
So, a small problem with the summary.
posted by yath at 12:58 PM on December 23, 2008


Article:

In just three weeks, scientists led by a team from the Royal Botanic Gardens in Kew found hundreds of different plant species, birds, butterflies, monkeys and a new species of giant snake.
posted by Astro Zombie at 1:08 PM on December 23, 2008


Oh, I see. You're hung up on the word "new species."

All right, then.
posted by Astro Zombie at 1:09 PM on December 23, 2008


Pfffft, WHO CARES.

Shit on the toilet, not posts about interesting new things.
posted by auralcoral at 1:28 PM on December 23, 2008


I agree with you Pastabagel, and love the find. Sometimes it just gets irritating in the way things are stated. But seeing this post made me happy and I love science. Just to clear things up. I got lazy with the western phrasing. I love the post, it just sometimes gets irritating to see that "oh we found it, it's brand new, even though there were people there." I'm not articulating it very well, but I hope you get the general gist. Good post!
posted by cashman at 2:00 PM on December 23, 2008


Birds do it.

Bees do it.

Even educated fleas do it.

Let's do it:

LET'S LOOK FOR COOL STUFF IN THE WOODS!



Sorry, Mr. Porter. Won't happen again.
posted by eritain at 2:16 PM on December 23, 2008 [1 favorite]


Hehe. Photo #8 (Pygmy Chameleon) is hilarious :P

It reminds me of the "Dreamworks" introduction/logotype, except backwards... but you have to squint, and...

Never mind.
posted by Khazk at 2:43 PM on December 23, 2008


scientists discover hundreds of new species

Those creatures all look highly derivative to me. Looking forward to some more original offerings.
posted by StickyCarpet at 3:31 PM on December 23, 2008 [1 favorite]


There was recently a big new species find like this in the Mekong region too, with some awesome photos from the BBC. Maybe it is a repost, but it's worth checking out for the bright shiny pink bug.
posted by booknerd at 4:12 PM on December 23, 2008


Timberlake's bringing species back?
posted by signalnine at 4:55 PM on December 23, 2008 [1 favorite]


Thanks, auralcoral, I think that's a film I've been looking for for ages! If it's the one I'm thinking of, it has a sequence with two snails gettin' it on, set to violin music. Highly amusing in the days before youtube and cheap digital video cameras made things like that a dime a dozen.
posted by needs more cowbell at 8:27 PM on December 23, 2008


These pictures are really beautiful. Unfortunately these creatures are now one step from the grave.
posted by nicolin at 12:54 AM on December 24, 2008


Guy_Inamonkeysuit: Wasn't that horrendous pink millipede from there, too?

Whoops, no -- Thailand. Still pretty cool. The thing exudes hydrogen cyanide.


Actually, lots of millipedes produce cyanide. Next time you see one of them crawling around, go ahead and pick it up. Once it curls up into your hand, sniff it. Really, put your nose right up to it and get a good whiff; if you have a cyanide producing millipede it will smell like almonds. Why? BECAUSE SCIENCE IS AWESOME!
posted by Panjandrum at 1:43 AM on December 24, 2008


Can I get a pygmy chameleon and an olive sunbird shipped here by Christmas? Please?
posted by mmoncur at 2:01 AM on December 24, 2008


The english language obviously needs better variable scoping:

found [hundreds of different plant species], [an unstated number of birds], [three new butterflies], [an indeterminate amount of monkeys] and [one new species of giant snake].

Also I would like an indeterminate amount of monkeys for christmas. Thank you very much.
posted by ook at 10:48 AM on December 24, 2008 [1 favorite]


LET'S LOOK FOR COOL STUFF IN THE WOODS!

But did they find porn?
posted by potsmokinghippieoverlord at 11:50 AM on December 24, 2008


(BESIDES THE BUTTERFLY SEXING)
posted by potsmokinghippieoverlord at 11:50 AM on December 24, 2008


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