Researchers discover more than 220 new animal and plant species

Researchers have discovered more than 220 new species of animals and plants in Southeast Asia.

Erika Armanino
25th February 2022
Exotic Frog Animal World Amphibians Animal
“World heavyweight” is the new name that scientists gave to the Greater Mekong, an area of Southeast Asia where they discovered 220 new species of animals and plants. 

155 plants, 35 reptiles, 17 amphibians, 16 fish species and one mammal were discovered, according to the conservation charity WWF. The area of the research expands through Myanmar, Thailand, Cambodia, Laos and Vietnam.

One of the species discovered was a Popa langur monkey, which is expected to be listed as critically endangered. This mammal is believed to be threatened by agriculture, hunting, habitat loss and timber extraction. 

Among the animals discovered there also were an orange-brown news with a racing stripe down its back, an orange ad grey rock gecko, a big-headed frog and a colourless cave- dwelling fish.

An image of the Greater Mekong region - Credits: Wikimedia Commons

The expeditions also showed the existence of the world’s first succulent bamboo, which stems can deflate or inflate depending on the dry or wet season. Also discovered, a plant with a strong smell.

Dr Yoganand Kandasamy, regional wildlife lead at WWF-greater Mekong, said “The Greater Mekong region is no doubt a world heavyweight contender for species discoveries.

“These species are extraordinary, beautiful products of millions of years of evolution, but are under intense threat, with many species going extinct even before they are described.”

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