Mache Mountain Glass Frog
Bio-rich Ecuador keeps providing new species for the world to marvel over. In 2004, this translucent tree frog that looks glass-blown, was discovered in the Mache Mountains and now joins the ranks of 146 other glass frog species. The skin of glass frogs is so transparent that bones and internal organs – including their beating heart – can be seen from their underbelly. Such transparency allows them to blend-in effortlessly with their surrounding leafy environment – and explains why it took scientists so long to find them.
King’s Deadly Jelly
It may be small, it may be hypnotically beautiful, but this new species of box jelly, Malo kingi, produces a venom that is one of the deadliest toxins in the world. Found in Australia, all it takes is a brush against this miniature jellyfish (also known as a sea wasp) for a fatal encounter. Unfortunately, the sting may actually go unnoticed as it isn’t particularly painful, but once the symptoms start to show it is usually too late -cardiac arrest typically happens within twenty minutes. The King’s Deadly Jelly received its name in honor of Robert W. King, an American tourist is Australia who died from a too-close encounter with this new jelly.
My apologies to the Australian tourist board for sharing this unnerving information, but maybe I can redeem myself - and Australia – by also pointing out that human-box jelly encounters are rare.
Yes, this Madagascan ant, Proceratium google, was named after the internet search engine “Google.” Why? The discoverer of the google ant, Dr Brian Fisher, cited the importance of Google Earth software in helping connect people worldwide with the earth’s biodiversity. For example, on Antbase.org you can download a list of all the ant species found in a particular locale whether on a remote tropical island or in your backyard. Furthermore, this little ant is a tireless search engine, says Dr. Fisher, always looking for spider eggs, it’s favorite meal.
Roosmalen’s Hairy Dwarf Porcupine
The word porcupine comes form the French words porc espin, meaning “spined pig.” The Roosmalen’s Hairy Dwarf Porcupine (Coendou roosmalenorum) has the requisite piglet nose and the defensive spines – or quills – but it also has two other types of hair that are longer and thinner than typical quills and are barb-less. Found along the Brazilian river banks of the Rio Maderia, this little spined-pig is also unusual in that its tail length is nearly the same length of its body.