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'Vegetarian piranha' just one of 400 new species discovered in Amazon since 2010

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)
October 25th, 2013
Catholic Online (www.catholic.org)

The children of the callicebus caquetensis, one of about 20 species of titi monkey that live in the Amazon basin has an especially endearing trait. "When they feel very content, they purr towards each other," scientist Thomas Defler says. The monkey is just one of more than 400 examples of wildlife discovered in the Amazon over the past several years.

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LOS ANGELES, CA (Catholic Online) - researchers have discovered more than 400 new species in the Amazon rainforest since 2010, such as a vegetarian piranha and a flower with spaghetti-like filaments, the World Wildlife Fund announced this week.

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The foundation says its "mission is to build a future in which people live in harmony with nature." Their discoveries have been compiled and published scientists' findings. They say even more discoveries are being made weekly.

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Among hundreds of other things, scientists found a lizard with a flame-like pattern from head to tail, a snake that lives at an elevation of 1,500 feet and some unique plants. The foundation reports that 441 new species have been discovered.

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Researchers scoured the region between 2010 and 2013 and found 258 species of plants, 84 fish, 22 reptiles, 18 birds and one new mammal. Many of the species are believed to be endemic to the rain forest and found nowhere else.

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There's a downside. Several of the never-before-seen species are already considered endangered, a reminder of the challenges facing animals in the massive rainforest habitat.

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Spanning across eight countries, the Amazon is one of the world's most ecologically diverse regions. The effects of deforestation and river pollution have significantly impacted the forest's ecosystem and could have long-term implications for global climate change.

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