Australia’s ‘Lost World’ Reveals Three New Species

A so-called “lost world” in Australia revealed three new species. Scientists on an expedition to a remote area of norther Australia found the species.

Scientists announced the find on Monday, saying that the new species are a bizarre leaf-tailed gecko, a gold-colored skink (lizard), and a brown-spotted, yellow boulder-dwelling frog.

Conrad Hoskin from James Cook University and a National Geographic film crew went on the expedition in the Cape Melville mountain range on Cape York Peninsula earlier this year, reports Yahoo! News.

After the team was dropped from a helicopter, they trekked through the near-impassable mountain range, which is home to millions of massive black granite boulders.

Surveys have been conducted in the boulder fields in the past, but they remained largely unexplored, because of how difficult it is to get through the region. Hoskin, a tropical biologist from the Queensland university, commented of the journey, “The top of Cape Melville is a lost world. Finding these new species up there is the discovery of a lifetime — I’m still amazed and buzzing from it.”

National Geographic notes that Hoskin, an expert in frog and reptiles, has been interested in the area for years. He explained, “I’ve explored a lot of spots, and Cape Melville always stood out as that place.” The new species made the trip more than worth it. The so-called lost world is part of an isolated rain forest on top of the rugged peaks.

The journey involved bushwhacking through the dim forest of hoop pines and foxtail pines. It wasn’t long before the team discovered a new species of skink, later named the Cape Melville shade skink. They discovered the new frog species later that day. Finally, the team discovered the strange gecko while walking through the forest at night.

Hoskin recalled seeing the reflection of two eyes on a tree. He stated, “I ran up through the rocks and this beautiful, strange-looking gecko was sitting on a tree looking at me. I was utterly blown away by the gecko and remember holding it in disbelief.” Hiss colleagues were equally as thrilled with the find.

Hoskin and his team plan to return to Australia’s lost world in the coming months to look for more new species.

[Image via ShutterStock]