According to a report launched by the World Wildlife Fund (WWF), more than a thousand species were discovered just in the last decade in that particular area. A rat thought extinct for 11 million years and a hot pink, dragon millipede that produces cyanide are just two of the amazing species found there.
If you’re still not convinced how amazing this is, just do the math a bit; 1068 species in the last decade means about two new species found each weak. Also, included on this list world’s largest huntsman spider, with a foot-long leg span and the Annamite Striped Rabbit, which is one of the mammals found there; new species of mammals are found quite rarely.
Despite the fact that most species were discovered in places where you’d expect them to live (such as moist jungles), some were found in the most unusual spots. For example, the Laotian rock rat was found in a local food market by scientists! What’s even more amazing is that this rat was thought to be extinct for more than 11 million years! The Siamese Peninsula pit viper was found slithering in a local restaurant (the hygiene they have there…).
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“This report cements the Greater Mekong’s reputation as a biological treasure trove — one of the world’s most important storehouses of rare and exotic species,” said Dekila Chungyalpa, Director of the WWF-US Greater Mekong Program. “Scientists keep peeling back the layers and uncovering more and more wildlife wonders.”
Copyright 2008 ZME Science
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