May 17, 2010 1:52 PM
Scientists are reporting the discovery of a host of new species, including a tiny frog nicknamed Pinocchio.
An international team of researchers faced torrential rain, flooding and lots of mud as they conducted a biological survey in the Foja Mountains on the western side of the island of New Guinea, a little visited part of Indonesia. The team got a bit of a break when it came to the frog. Herpetologist Paul Oliver spotted the long-nosed amphibian sitting on a bag of rice as he was eating lunch in the team's camp. The frog's nose points upward when it's calling and deflates at other times, earning it the nickname Pinocchio.
The researchers also found a tiny forest wallaby that may be the smallest known member of the kangaroo family. And they came across another type of kangaroo that jumps into and climbs trees. A big woolly rat, a bent-toed gecko with yellow eyes, a tri-colored imperial pigeon and dozens of new insects were also identified.
Conservation International organized the survey, with support from the National Geographic Society and Smithsonian Institution. The expedition was conducted in 2008 and its results were released today.