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'Extremely rare' white puffin caught on camera


By Daily Mail Reporter
Last updated at 1:24 PM on 15th March 2010

This extremely rare white Atlantic Puffin has stunned bird experts after it was spotted playing with its more common black-feathered friends off the British coast.
At first glance the remarkable bird looks like an albino but it has orange eyes and bill and black edges on a few feathers.
It actually has a colouring which is called leucism and is so unusual it was considered mythical by sailors in the 17th Century.


All white: This rare white puffin was pictured off the Isles of Scilly by wildlife photographer Barbara Fryer

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Rare warbler found in Afghanistan

By Matt McGrath
BBC News 

The breeding area of the Large Billed Reed Warbler, one of the world's rarest birds, has been discovered in the remote and rugged Pamir Mountains in war torn Afghanistan, a New York based conservation group announced!

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Long Feared Extinct, Rare Bird Rediscovered

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Long Feared Extinct, Rare Bird Rediscovered

Corvus unicolor, the long-lost Banggai Crow, was rediscovered on Indonesia's Peleng Island. (Credit: Photo by Philippe Verbelen)

ScienceDaily (Oct. 13, 2009) — Known to science only by two specimens described in 1900, a critically endangered crow has re-emerged on a remote, mountainous Indonesian island thanks in part to a Michigan State University scientist.


The Banggai Crow was believed by many to be extinct until Indonesian biologists finally secured two new specimens on Peleng Island in 2007. Pamela Rasmussen, an MSU assistant professor of zoology and renowned species sleuth, provided conclusive verification.

An ornithologist who specializes on the birds of southern Asia, Rasmussen studied the two century-old specimens known as Corvus unicolor in New York's American Museum of Natural History. She compared them to the new crow specimens in Indonesia's national museum, to lay to rest speculation that they were merely a subspecies of a different crow. The more common Slender-billed Crow, or Corvus enca, also is found in the Banggai Islands, and likewise is all black.


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Arachnophobics beware: Researchers identify giant new spider species

Tue Oct 20, 8:47 PM

By Sheryl Ubelacker, The Canadian Press

For anyone who suffers from arachnophobia, it might be advisable to read no further.
That's because this is a story about a spider - a very BIG spider.
Researchers have discovered an entirely new species of arachnid, and its gargantuan female members represent the largest of its family ever found.
Dubbed Nephila komaci, this sucker has a tip-to-tip leg span of about 12 centimetres, including a body almost four centimetres wide. To get an idea how big that is, imagine the size of a man's hand or a small saucer.
"They look like they're all legs ... They live in webs, right, so they're spindly, relatively delicate spiders," said Jonathan Coddington, an arachnologist at the Smithsonian Institution's National Museum of Natural History in Washington, one of the scientists who identified the new species.
"If you were standing there, you wouldn't say that. You would probably freak out. Most people do."

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New giant rat species discovered

LONDON, England (CNN) -- Scientists have discovered a new species of giant rat in a remote rainforest in Papua New Guinea.

Measuring 82 centimeters (32.2 inches) from nose to tail and weighing around 1.5 kilograms (3.3 pounds), the species is thought to be one of the largest rats ever to be found.
The discovery was made by a team from the BBC Natural History Unit inside the crater of Mount Bosavi -- an extinct volcano in the Southern Highlands province of Papua New Guinea.
"This is one of the world's largest rats. It's a true rat, the same kind you find in the city sewers," said Kristofer Helgen, a biologist from the Smithsonian National Museum of Natural History, who was part of the expedition team.
Initial examinations of the rat -- provisionally named the Bosavi woolly rat -- suggest that it belongs to the Mallomys -- a genus of rodents in the muridae family which are the largest living species of rodent.
In 2007, a similar species of giant rat was found in Foja Mountains in Papua New Guinea's Mamberamo Basin.

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Stiphrornis Pyrrholaemus - New Bird Species Discovered In Africa

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Scientists at the Smithsonian Institution have discovered a new species of bird in Gabon, Africa, that was, until now, unknown to the scientific community. Their findings were published in the international science journal Zootaxa today, Aug. 15.

Forest Robin - Male

The newly found olive-backed forest robin (Stiphrornis pyrrholaemus) was named by the scientists for its distinctive olive back and rump. Adult birds measure 4.5 inches in length and average 18 grams in weight. Males exhibit a fiery orange throat and breast, yellow belly, olive back and black feathers on the head. Females are similar, but less vibrant. Both sexes have a distinctive white dot on their face in front of each eye.


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