Greater Mekong’s species spectacle

By | December 17, 2008

Piyawan Niyomwan)David Redfield)Somsar Panha)

Conservation group WWF says that more than 1,000 species new to science have been recorded in South-East Asia’s Greater Mekong region over the past decade. These include 22 snake species, including this green pitviper (Trimeresurus gumprechti). … The Laotian rock rat (Laonastes aenigmamus) was first recorded by scientists at a food market in Laos. Remarkably, researchers say this species is the sole survivor of an ancient group of rodents understood to have died out 11 million years ago. … The “dragon millipede” (Desmoxytes purpurosea) was first described in 2007 by scientists in Thailand. Researchers suggest the bright colouring acts as a warning to would-be predators, as the millipede has glands that produce cyanide as a defence mechanism. ….

More pics on BBC including a large and aggressive scary spider I didn’t want to have to look at so much. Freaky. Very green snake, eh?

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