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Sabtu, 11 Juli 2009

New Salamander Found -- One of World's Smallest

salamander photo
July 8, 2009—The newly named patch-nosed salamander—the second smallest salamander in the United States—had been living right under our noses.

Scientists found the 2-inch-long (5.1-centimeter-long) amphibian (pictured above) in 2007, in a creek near a well-traveled road in northern Georgia. (See a regional map.)

The new species, named for its lighter hued snout, is so different from other salamanders in the amphibian-rich region that it was placed in a new genus. (Read more on the NatGeo News Watch blog.)

It is the first new genus of a four-footed creature found in the U.S. in 50 years, scientists say.

(See a photo of an "ugly" new salamander found in Ecuador.)

Of the approximately 560 salamanders in the world, 10 percent are found in Georgia's Appalachian Mountains.

Finding a new animal living so close to humans shows that "there are still things out there to discover," team member John Maerz, of the University of Georgia, said in a statement.

"It makes you wonder, what else is out there?"

Research appears in a new issue of the Journal of Zoology.

—Christine Dell'Amore

Photograph courtesy the University of Georgia

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