new mammal species

The Majority-Christian Asian Nation (and some other interesting things about the Philippines)

Its been a while since I did a facts list…here we go:

  1. The Philippines has the highest rate of discovery of new animal species with 16 new species of mammals discovered just in the last 10 years.
  2. The world’s largest pearl was discovered by a Filipino diver in the Palawan Sea in 1934. Known as the “Pearl of Lao Tzu,” or “Pearl of Allah,” it is worth around US$40 million, and is believed to be 600 years old.
  3. The Philippines is the only country in the world whose flag is hoisted upside down when the country is at war.
  4. The yo-yo had its beginnings as an ancient Filipino studded hunting weapon attached to a 20-foot rope. 
  5. There are between 120 and 175 individual languages spoken in the Philippines, 171 of which are living while the other four no longer have any known speakers.
  6. Both University of Santo Tomas in Manila, founded in 1611, and the University of San Carlos in Cebu City, founded in 1595, are older than Harvard University (which was only founded in 1636)

Quick note: there are actually two majority-Christian nations in Asia, and both are in Oceania! One is the Philippines, and the other is East Timor.


10 of my favourite Fallow Deer pictures from over the years 

With the 1st picture in this photoset of some of one of my favourite mammals the Fallow Deer taken 7 years ago today at Bolderwood in the New Forest, the 2nd picture in this photoset of them taken 6 years ago yesterday at the same place and the 3rd picture in this photoset of a herd of them taken on Sunday at Stoney Cross in the New Forest after seeing another herd on our walk at Fritham, I felt like putting some of my favourite Fallow Deer pictures of mine together in a photoset. 

So the next 7 Fallow Deer pictures in this photoset were taken at; Richmond Park in 2014, the 5th and 6th are both at Bolderwood in 2015, Ibsley Common in the New Forest in 2015, Bolderwood in 2015 once again, Deadman Hill in the New Forest in 2016 and Ibsley Common again in 2016. 

When I thought about doing this post I thought I might do a species appreciation post which I occasionally do showing my love for Fallow Deers, but I then realised I’d already done one in 2015! So here is the link to it: 

I think because of the first couple of past pictures and then this week’s picture I rather associate July with the Fallow Deers as we’ve seen them a lot on this month. In the summer when the hot days come we do go to the New Forest a lot and you see loads of Fallows in the New Forest especially in summer it seems and I was feeling the spirit of this after a weekend of New Forest wildlife:


My copy of ‘The Wonders of Life on Earth’ just arrived today! Thinking it was just a general book on nature, I was surprised (and very pleased) to find it actually is a detailed look at Charles Darwin’s voyage of the Beagle. Each chapter describes the various places he stopped at, looking at the ecology and evolution of the various creatures of South America, Australia, and Southern Africa. It’s a pretty old book (from 1960) and includes early information on genetics. Of particular interest is the opening introduction featuring a look at Darwin’s early years, including authentic photos of his office and collected specimens. This is one I really recommend!


You’ll never guess where scientists discovered the olinguito, a new species of mammal. 

Field Journal: The Sound of Dawn in Guadalcanal

Chris Filardi is director of Pacific Programs at the Museum’s Center for Biodiversity and Conservation. This month, he’s blogging from the remote highlands of Guadalcanal in the Solomon Islands, where he is surveying endemic biodiversity and working with local partners to create a protected area.

Dawn is a magical time, especially for those interested in birds, whose choruses of sound at first light in tropical forests is something to behold. That’s even more true in a place where biologists have yet to complete the most basic description of forest species and their sounds, meaning some of those songs remain mysteries.

This tiny fantail has a unique dawn song that we have captured for the first time.

Each morning, as the mostly nocturnal teams searching for frogs and mammals settle in for some sleep, bird people ascend the ridgelines to listen to the day awaken. Before first light, birds are still at their night roosts, often much lower in the forest than at any other time, and they sing. This morning song is likely for territorial and other social reasons, but anyone who has heard a tropical dawn must sense a more mystical response to the coming of a new day.

As light approaches, Boobook owls finish their last rollicking duets just as whistler and monarch flycatcher songs rise from all directions. Leaf warblers and fantails chatter sweetly at shoulder height while doves—some colored like a child’s drawing, others the size of small chickens—whoop and coo, all combining into a unique soundscape of this place.

Sounds are one focus of our work here—many birdsongs of the species unique to this site are unknown. Others are poorly described, and most have never been recorded. Our work is already turning up interesting new findings, such as distinctive dawn songs, and documenting numerous undescribed calls.

Recordings made of this tree frog are the first ever.

Beyond the vocalizations of single species, we are also capturing the collective sounds of the forests. These soundscapes are the context within which contemporary vocalizations evolved. But, just as many of the species here are threatened by mining operations along these ridgelines, soundscapes are threatened by alien species and the sounds from urbanization in the lowlands.

For now, that is far below and the soundscapes we hear on this survey are only broken by the occasional incoming airplane or helicopter and our own voices threading through the undergrowth This is an ideal place to capture the sounds of a forest rich in species encountered nowhere else on Earth.

This frog was discovered by its odd barking calls in the night, and may be an undescribed species.

The kind of listening we’re doing, with persistent audio recording at varied sites, has the potential to reveal rarely seen species, such as a beautiful forest kingfisher glimpsed just once by scientists, or a ground-dwelling thicketbird known only by one specimen gathered nearly a century ago.

The possible presence of these species around us has everyone electrified with a heightened awareness. Possible observation of and data from these birds and other potential new species of mammals, amphibians, and invertebrates is at the heart of our science. They are links in a grand biogeographic tapestry still being revealed, constantly being woven. 

This post was originally published on the Museum blog. Stay tuned for more from Chris Filardi!

First glimpse of three new miniature mammal species

More than 40 camera traps were set up in two little-studied mountains in the remote Torricelli range, which is found in north-east Papua New Guinea. The study caught on camera for the first time the Docopsulus wallaby, a ‘Dumbo’ mouse with giant ears and an antechinus, a sort of shrew-like marsupial”

See more photos at the guardian.