Tube-Nosed Fruit Bat
While scientists have seen this species of tube-nosed fruit bat before, they have yet to describe it thoroughly. It was found during Conservation International's recent Rapid Assessment Program in the Muller Range of Papua New Guinea. Fruit bats are important to the local ecology: They eat fruit and "disperse" seeds widely.
Scientists had to use a light trap (a camera flash triggered by the animal's movement at night) to get a good picture of this feather-tailed possum, which was probably up late eating moths, or possibly nectar. While the species was seen in 1985, scientists have yet to learn much about this elusive creature.
Elusive Tree Canopy Frog
Often heard but seldom seen, this handsome frog was among the new residents of Papua New Guinea's tree canopy discovered during Conservation International's rapid assessment.
Pink-Eyed Leaf Katydid
This pink-eyed leaf katydid was among the new finds in the Muller Range of Papua New Guinea. This katydid probably feeds on flowers of the forest's tall trees.
A katydid of this deep emerald color is unusual, if not unique. It was found by Conservation International in Papua New Guinea.
The bright colors and yellow spots of this beautiful frog didn't help scientists with Conservation International find it during its rapid assessment of the Muller Range in Papua New Guinea. "Males were most frequently spotted when they uttered a very soft ticking sound to attract females in the vicinity," scientists report.
This long-tailed montane mouse was found by Conservation International high in the Nakanai Mountains of Papua New Guinea is new to science. "Although it resembles the prehensile-tailed tree mice of New Guinea this remarkable new species has no close relatives and represents an entirely new genus," researchers said. "The new mouse has rather narrow feet and forward-directed incisors that may be used for digging and carrying soil, suggesting that it might be a burrower and live most of its life at or near the forest floor. It is unusual in having a long, pure white tail tip that distinguishes it from all other mice in the area."
Big (and Little) Headed Ants
Scientists working with Conservation International found these tiny, spiny ants to be common foragers on the forest floor in Papua New Guinea's Muller Range. The large majors have heads that are several times the size of the workers' heads, a phenomenon that isn't uncommon among ants. "The huge mandibles are controlled by powerful muscles, which allow them to crush food that the workers bring back to the nest," reports CI. "This species was among the first to discover food items, such as crumbs, on the forest floor, and quickly recruited many workers and majors to carry away their bounty. The distinct spines on these beautifully shiny ants are thought to defend them against predators."
This katydid, discovered by Conservation International in the Muller Range of Papua New Guinea, has an interesting defense mechanism: "Their hind legs are exceptionally large and spiny, and when threatened they hold them vertically above their head and try to jab you with the spines (very painful)." Sounds like the scientists had some first-hand experience.
Found by Conservation International-affiliated researchers in the Nakanai Mountains of New Guinea, this newly discovered spider is one of four in a genus not known to exist before on the island.
Among the 20 new species of frogs discovered by Conservation International during a rapid biological assessment, this Platymantis frog is a striking, yellow-spotted frog was found in dense thickets only at the highest elevations surveyed in the Nakanai Mountains. This new species belongs to a group of frogs that lay their eggs on land or in the trees, where they hatch directly into little froglets, skipping the tadpole stage typical of most frogs. "This breeding strategy is of immense benefit to frogs in places like the Nakanai Mountains where, despite the high rainfall," according to Conservation International, "surface-water is very scarce because it drains quickly underground to join streams and rivers that flow through underground caves."