Natural History News

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A team of scientists working for Reptile & Amphibian Ecology International have discovered previously undiscovered biodiversity in a rare and dwindling ecosystem in coastal Ecuador. The apparently new species include a blunt-snouted, slug-sucking snake and 30 species of rain frog.

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Researchers and archaeologists from the French Institute of Andean Studies and the University of Cambridge have determined that deforestation allowed floods to wipe out the Nazca culture, famous for their huge line drawings on the plateaus of the Ica Valley. Barren today, the Ica Valley was once an oasis, but environmental depredation and population growth led to the culture's downfall. The key to this once fertile valley was a tree called the huarango, which can live for more than 1,000 years and has roots as deep as 180 feet.

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A team of archaeologists has discovered 12 graves and pre-Columbian earthen enclosures at the archaeological site of Qata Ccasapata Llacta in Cusco. Seven of the graves have been perfectly preserved, while others have been looted.

The site is thought to have been a village for those serving the Inca elite or as a place of worship. However, the Qata Ccasapata Llacta - a Quechua phrase meaning "Village at the summit where it is cold" - dates back to the Killke culture in 12th century A.D.

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A bird-eating frog, Cat Ba leopard gecko and a Nonggang babbler, a bird that flies only when it is frightened are among dozens of new species discovered in an ecologically fragile part of Southeast Asia.

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Researchers from the Illinois Wesleyan University and the University of California, Berkeley have recently described three new species of high-elevation frogs from Peru. These new frog species we found in the cloud forests north of the Inca fortress of Ollantaytambo, Manu National Park and the upper Marcapata valley.

Unlike most other amphibian species, these three species have no tadpoles; the eggs hatch into froglets.

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Scientists from Oxford University, London Zoo and the Smithsonian Institution have found more than 40 previously unidentified species in Papua New Guinea! In a rainforest currently being destroyed at a rate of 3.5% each year, this volcanic crater is a lost world is populated by fanged frogs, grunting fish and tiny bear-like creatures.

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British researchers from the University of Southampton have found several new species of life – and some that were thought to be extinct – during an in-depth study documenting some of the world’s rarest and most fragile coral reefs in the Galapagos Islands.

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While many of International Expeditions' guests have joined snorkeling excursions to Belize to swim with whale sharks, the coasts of our home-state of Alabama have reported dozens of whale shark sightings in the past few weeks. Multiple whale sharks have been spotted just off the Alabama Gulf Coast.

"The gigantic fish, perhaps 25 feet long, was seen swimming at the surface, headed north, about five miles off of Orange Beach.

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Anyone who has visited the Charles Darwin Research Station in the Galapagos Islands has snapped a picture of Lonesome George and his equally lonesome companion tortoises. Now the Galapagos National Park has found five eggs laid by one of George's female companions.

Eggs laid last year turned out to be infertile, but we're holding out hope! LEARN MORE »

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There is so much left to be discovered in our world, and science has just released two exciting findings relating to the Amazon River and its surrounding rainforest!

Amazon River 11 Million Years Old:

Geologists studying boreholes in the sediment at the mouth of the Amazon River say the river took its present shape approximately 2.4 million years ago. LEARN MORE

New Sub-Species of Monkey Found in Brazilian Amazon:

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