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Posts Tagged ‘New species’

These images of an unusual cat were captured by camera trap in the Sundarbans in India. It has been suggested that this is a new species because its markings are intermediate between a fishing cat and a leopard cat. I think it's a leopard cat.

From The Times of India:

The deeper you go into the Sunderbans, the more mysterious it is. The camera traps that have snapped 18 Bengal tigers outside the core area of the mangrove forests also captured two photos of a never-before-seen cat. It could be another species altogether, a eureka moment for conservationists and wildlife enthusiasts.

Forest officers scanning through a bunch of pictures of the wild stopped in their tracks when they came across a small, black cat with a long tail. Nothing of the sort had been seen in decades of documentation and exploration in the Sunderbans.

The Sunderbans is the only tiger reserve in India where leopards have never been seen. Its Bangladeshi side reported the last sighting of a leopard in 1931. The cat spotted in the camera traps is bigger than a wild cat and smaller than a leopard, say sources. It’s not yet known whether it’s a new species but forest officials believe it is a melanistic leopard-cat, a rarity in the animal world…

“We have never seen any animal like this in the Sunderbans. Apart from the 18 tigers, scores of other cats, including jungle and fishing cats, were found during the exercise, which was done outside the reserve area for the first time. Most of them were expected till we came upon two sightings of a black cat with a long tail,” said Sunderbans Biosphere Reserve director Pradeep Vyas.

I think it’s an unusually colored leopard cat (Prionailurus bengalensis).

These cats are pretty widely distributed in Asia, and they come in several morphs, which were once thought to be several unique species.

I could be wrong about this, of course, and I would definitely like to be proven wrong on this one.

But I can’t convince myself that this is anything other than a leopard cat.

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bare-faced bulbul

Another new species has been discovered in Southeast Asia– this time in Laos.

The bare-faced bulbul is the only bald songbird in mainland Asia. It is about the size of a thrush, and we don’t yet know exactly why it is bald. It may have to do with communication between the sexes. It is found in the Laotian lowlands, where the trees are sparse and large areas of limestone karst are exposed.

A mining company funded the expedition which included experts from the Wildlife Conservation Society.

This is the first Asian bulbul species to be discovered in 100 years.

So it’s quite a lovely little find.

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lirung monitor

Well, we have a new species of monitor lizard: Varanus lirungensis.

This species was just discovered near the village of Lirung on the island of Salibabu, which is part of the Talaud archipelago, which are between Sualwesi and Mindanao, which is part of the Philippines.

German researchers discovered this new monitor species, and after analyzing its DNA and morphology, published their findings in the Australian Journal of Zoology.

This finding is important because “it highlights the high, but poorly known diversity of monitor lizards in Indonesia. Several species of water monitor have been found on Sulawesi and surrounding islands in recent years.”

Just think of the new monitor species that have yet to be discovered in Indonesia!

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