Monday, July 16, 2007

extinct...or maybe not

Great news if true:

A species of egg-laying mammal, named after TV naturalist Sir David Attenborough, is not extinct as was previously thought, say scientists.

On a recent visit to Papua's Cyclops Mountains, researchers uncovered burrows and tracks made by the Attenborough's long-beaked echidna.

The species is only known to biologists through a specimen from 1961, which is housed in a museum in the Netherlands.

The team will return to Papua next year to find and photograph the creature.

The month-long expedition by scientists from the Zoological Society of London (ZSL) involved travelling to parts of the mountain range, covered by thick jungle, which had remained unexplored for more than 45 years.

I'm going to have to do some Googling, but it seems that this isn't the only species named after Sir David. However, it would be really cool to 'rediscover' this one within his lifetime.

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