Sunday, May 08, 2005

New Mammal Discovered

Scientists have discovered a brand new species of fox on Borneo, marking a rare event in new animal discovery:
Last week WWF reported that 361 entirely new species - 260 insects, 50 plants, 30 freshwater fish, seven frogs, six lizards, five crabs, two snakes and a toad - have been discovered over the past decade, a rate of three a month. But the fox, which has come to light only after the report was written, is a far bigger find. Discoveries of mammals are extremely rare. Six were found in the 1990s in remote forests in Vietnam - a rhino, a rabbit, three deer and a primate - but they were the first since the discovery of the kouprey in the area in 1937.

But all of these are herbivores, making the finding of a carnivorous fox even more extraordinary. The animal - which was caught on an automatic infra-red camera, set up in the forest of the Kayam Menterong National Park - is foxy red all over, with no white markings, and a bushy tail. It has slightly extended back legs, suggesting that it may spend part of its time up trees.

Link. Unfortunately the new mammal wasn't this one:

But at least the discovery of a new mammal puts another nail in the coffin of Baron Georges Cuvier's "rash dictum": "There is little hope of discovering new species." He uttered that one in 1812, before the world knew of the pygmy chimpanzee, white rhinocerous, Kodiak bear, or mountain gorilla.

Indexed by tags , , , , .


Post a Comment

<< Home