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'Pinocchio' Frog Found

Reza Arroisi
Reza Arroisi
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'Pinocchio' Frog Found

Biologists stationed in the Foja Mountains of Indonesia were fortunate enough to uncover a number of animals previously unknown to science, including one frog with an impressive schnoz. The frog's nose, which has earned it the nickname Pinocchio, reportedly inflates while the creature sings. But unlike the other animals uncovered, the frog may have actually discovered the biologists. They noticed him sitting on a bag of rice at the team's campsite.

According to The Telegraph, the expedition that yielded the discoveries was wrought with difficulties. The team face torrential rain and flooding, meaning that much of the biological survey of this remote region of Indonesia was conducted in mud--which made finding the Pinocchio frog seem particularly easy.

Researcher Chris Milensky describes when his collegeau, Paul Oliver, first spotted the frog:

We were sitting around eating lunch. [Oliver] looked down and there's this little frog on a rice sack, and he managed to grab the thing.

Among the other species not nearly as simple to find, the team from Conservation International also turned up the smallest wallaby ever recorded. "It can jump into a tree and scurry right up it," one researcher told The Telegraph. "But on the ground it hops around like any kangaroo."

A new type of yellow-eyed lizard was also discovered there in the Foja Mountains, located on the western side of the island of New Guinea.

The formal introduction of these fascinating creatures has been timed to coincide with the International Day for Biodiversity next week. The forests of Indonesia, where these new species were discovered, are a hotspot for unique wildlife, but faces serious problems from illegal lumber operations. Over the past 50 years, the nation's island ecosystems have been dwindling, threatening the organisms that live there.

Whenever it seems as though nature's secrets have all been revealed, new surveys inevitably turn up a whole host of fascinating creatures yet unknown to science. But for all the time and effort put forth by biologists to discover and catalogue new species, sometimes it's up to a big-nosed frog to discover us.

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— Andrea Hirata