It might be a small world after all, but there’s still plenty to learn about this little blue marble we call Earth, and there’s no greater indication of that than the 208 new species that were discovered in the Greater Mekong region in 2010.
I never could understand why people started looking towards the stars when there’s still so much about our own planet that remains a mystery. A new report from the WorldWide Fund for Nature recently revealed that 208 new species had been discovered in SE Asia, ranging from a “psychedelic” gecko to a female lizard that was able to reproduce without the presence of a male by cloning itself. The discoveries weren’t just confined to the animal world either, because five species of carnivorous pitcher plants were also discovered across Thailand and Cambodia, with some of them being able to trap and consume small rats, mice, lizards and even birds.
Unfortunately, the rich biodiversity in that area is at risk so some of these new species might disappear before we have a chance to fully study them.
“The region’s treasure trove of biodiversity will be lost if governments fail to invest in the conservation and maintenance of biodiversity, which is so fundamental to ensuring long-term sustainability in the face of global environmental change,” says Stuart Chapman, Conservation Director of WWF Greater Mekong.
The 208 new species, which translates to one new species recorded every two days in 2010, are highlighted in a new WWF report called Wild Mekong.