NEW SPECIES PHOTOS: Jumping Spiders, Odd Gecko, More

NEW SPECIES PHOTOS: Jumping Spiders, Odd Gecko, More
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March 25, 2009—A "large and spectacular"—and possibly new—tree frog species of the Nyctimystes genus squats near a clear mountain river during a 2008 expedition in Papua New Guinea.

The frog is one of 50 potential new species discovered during the expedition, Conservation International (CI) announced today.

Uniquely adapted to their habitat, females lay their eggs underneath river stones, and tadpoles have mouths that can suction onto slippery rocks.

Other new species include jumping spiders, a striped gecko, and a tiny chirping frog. More than 600 species, old and new, were documented during the expedition into the vast Kaijende uplands, one of the Papua New Guinea's largest mountainous wilderness areas. (See tree kangaroo pictures from Papua New Guinea.)

Kaijende's forests also absorb large amounts of the greenhouse gas carbon dioxide, making the forests critical to slowing global warming, experts say.

CI plans to send another expedition to chart Papua New Guinea's pristine wilds in 2009.

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—Photograph by Steve Richards, courtesy CI
 
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