3 New Salamanders Are "Ballistic," Bright, Tiny

New Salamander Species Found in Costa Rica
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January 4, 2008Three previously unknown salamandersone with a bold streak (pictured), one with a "ballistic" tongue, and one no longer than a fingernailhave been discovered in remote Costa Rican cloud forests, scientists announced today.

This species above, found in La Amistad National Park, is probably unique to the remote rain forest region, which straddles the border with neighboring Panama, according to expedition leader Alex Monro of London's Natural History Museum. (See map of Costa Rica.)

The amphibian's eye-catching coloration resembles the warning markings of deadly poison-dart frogs, also native to Central America, Monro noted. But whether this nocturnal salamander's coloring is an evolutionary ploy to fool potential predators isn't yet known, the researcher said.

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—Photograph by Alex Monro, courtesy Natural History Museum
 
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