Tube-Nosed Bat, More Rare Species Found

A Nose for Fruit

Photograph courtesy Piotr Naskrecki, Conservation International

This tube-nosed fruit bat is just one of the roughly 200 species encountered during two scientific expeditions to Papua New Guinea in 2009—including a katydid that “aims for the eyes” and a frog that does a mean cricket impression, Conservation International announced late Tuesday.

Though seen on previous expeditions, the bat has yet to be formally documented as a new species, or even named. Like other fruit bats, though, it disperses seeds from the fruit in its diet, perhaps making the flying mammal crucial to its tropical rain forest ecosystem.

In all, the expeditions to Papua New Guinea”s Nakanai and Muller mountain ranges found 24 new species of frogs, 2 new mammals, and nearly a hundred new insects. The remote island country”s mountain ranges—which have yielded troves of new and unusual species in recent years—are accessible only by plane, boat, foot, or helicopter.

(Also see pictures of new species from Papua New Guinea”s “Lost World.”)

—Rachel Kaufman


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