February 7, 2006 | David F. Coppedge

Treasure Trove of Rare Species Found in Papua New Guinea

There are still untouched areas on our planet.  Scientists announced the discovery of a “lost world” of new species of birds and mammals in a remote section of Papua New Guinea with no sign of trails or roads.  The news media are all abuzz with the exciting announcement: see MSNBC, National Geographic, BBC News, EurekAlert and LiveScience.  Rare mammals found include an egg-laying echidna and a golden-mantled tree kangaroo.  Exotic rhododendrons, palms, insects, and frogs round out the dozens of new species found so far.  The team was dropped into the remote habitat by helicopter and has only scratched the surface of the diversity of living creatures that call this area home.  Not even the native people had seen it.

Isn’t it great to know there are still things to discover in the wild?  Maybe you would like to visit the area with Google Earth.  This is surely one of the most dramatic findings in recent years and should provide biologists with much to study.  Notice that these creatures all exist in the present.  Tales about their supposed evolution will undoubtedly come later when the Darwin Party storytelling brigade sets up base camp.  Despite reporters’ hyperbole, this wasn’t Eden, and this “lost world” was never lost.  People are sometimes, but these animals knew exactly where they were.  Do you?

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