Pinocchio Frog, Et Salamander, Yoda Bat And Dinospider: Species Near Extinction as presented by: Telegraph Media Group

This previously seen but still undescribed species of fruit bat endemic to Papua New Guinea was observed by Conservation International?s Rapid Assessment Programme (RAP) researchers in 2009. The Tube-nosed Fruit Bat Nyctimene sp. from the Muller Range mountains does not yet have a name, though it is popularly called Yoda Bat. It is likely restricted (endemic) to hill forests on the island. Fruit bats are important seed dispersers in tropical forests. Goliath bird eating spider (Theraphosa blondi). The largest (by mass) spider in the world, reaching the weight of 170g and leg span of 30cm. Observed by RAP scientists in Guyana in 2006. They live in burrows on the floor of lowland rainforests and despite the name feed primarily on invertebrates (but have been observed eating small mammals, lizards and even venomous snakes). They have venom fangs (not deadly to humans) but their main line of defence are urticating hairs that cover their entire body ? when threatened their rub their legs agains the abdomen and send a cloud of microscopic barbs that lodge in the skin and mucus membranes of the attacker, causing pain and long-lasting irritation. The Satanic Leaf-tailed Gecko (Uroplatus phantasticus). This was observed on a RAP survey in the Mantadia-Zahamena corridor of Madagascar in 1998. (The species was first described in 1888, and it is not rare in primary forest in Madagascar.) The Satanic Leaf Tailed Gecko, is the smallest of 12 species of bizarre looking Leaf-tailed geckos. They are nocturnal, arboreal geckos which exhibit extremely cryptic camouflage and are endemic to Madagascar. They are only found in primary, undisturbed forests, so their populations are very sensitive to habitat destruction. Large Uroplatus species have more teeth than any other living terrestrial vertebrate species. The Leaf-Tailed Gecko is part of the complex cycle of circulating organic matter in the ecosystem. They are predators of small insects and small vertebrates In 2004, WWF listed all of the Uroplatus species on their "Top ten most wanted species list" of animals threatened by illegal wildlife trade, because of it "being captured and sold at alarming rates for the international pet trade".


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