The Real Lands of the Lost

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It’s exciting, the regularity with which we hear of researchers discovering new and wonderful species. With all the places we’ve been and seen it is amazing to imagine there are still so many new things to be found. The majority of these findings are happening in places that may have previously been hard to reach – remote, isolated areas in rainforests; dark ocean depths.

Scientists appear to be better at finding new species (in part due to bigger and better resources?), leading to a Golden Age of Discovery. There are large scale projects, such as the Census for Marine Life, fully devoted to collaberatively finding and describing diversity, abundance, and distribution of biological life.

The driver behind many of these novel organisms seems to be the amazing ability of life to adapt to living in incredibly narrow niches and extreme environments. There are many examples of living things that exist nowhere else on earth except in an isolated swath of habitat.

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Check out these two recent examples, both of which have related photo galleries:

Mount Basavi volcanic crater, Papua New Guinea

Mount Mabu, Mozambique

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