Scientists find 40 new species in Amazon

October 2, 2006

An international team of scientists risked their lives to discover 40 new species of plants and animals in a recent exploration of the Amapa region of Brazil.

The Times of London said despite a few of its members nearly being eaten by hungry animals, the scientific team ultimately exited the nearly unspoiled South American area with thousands of specimens representing dozens of new and intriguing species.

Among those species discovered were a bird and a tree rat, which the scientists were elated to find as new avian and mammal species are rare discoveries.

Dr. Enrico Bernard, who led the Conservation International group in Brazil, said the exploration gave his group a chance to see an area of the world that has been a virtual no-man's land, The Times reported

"The area was a blank in terms of scientific data," he told the paper. "We had some information about the surrounding regions but Amapa was a scientific gap in our database of species. We were assessing the real diversity and have come back with a very good number of new species."

Copyright 2006 by United Press International

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