Borneo’s Lost World: 52 new species

Posted by: Loren Coleman on December 18th, 2006

Glyptothorax exodon

Glyptothorax exodon: Courtesy of Heok Hee Ng.

In some media accounts, it is being called another "lost world." In others, the "Heart of Borneo." Over 52 new species of plants and animals have been discovered there from July 2005 through September 2006.

"The more we look the more we find," said Stuart Chapman, WWF International coordinator for the study of the "Heart of Borneo," a 85,000-square-mile rain forest in the center of the island where several of the new species were found. "These discoveries reaffirm Borneo’s position as one of the most important centers of biodiversity in the world."

And.. .

The discoveries bring the total number of species newly identified on the island to more than 400 since 1996, according to WWF, known in North America as the World Wildlife Fund.

…Creatures discovered between July 2005 and September 2006 were six Siamese fighting fish, whose unique colors and markings distinguish them from close relatives, and a tree frog with bright green eyes.

[A new] catfish, which can be identified by its pretty color pattern, is named Glyptothorax exodon, a reference to the teeth that can be seen even when the its mouth is closed. The suction cups on its belly enable it to stick to smooth stones while facing the current of Indonesia’s turbulent Kapuas River system.

For more, see Associated Press, December 18, 2006, "WWF: 52 new species discovered on Borneo.”

Loren Coleman About Loren Coleman
Loren Coleman is one of the world’s leading cryptozoologists, some say “the” leading living cryptozoologist. Certainly, he is acknowledged as the current living American researcher and writer who has most popularized cryptozoology in the late 20th and early 21st centuries. Starting his fieldwork and investigations in 1960, after traveling and trekking extensively in pursuit of cryptozoological mysteries, Coleman began writing to share his experiences in 1969. An honorary member of Ivan T. Sanderson’s Society for the Investigation of the Unexplained in the 1970s, Coleman has been bestowed with similar honorary memberships of the North Idaho College Cryptozoology Club in 1983, and in subsequent years, that of the British Columbia Scientific Cryptozoology Club, CryptoSafari International, and other international organizations. He was also a Life Member and Benefactor of the International Society of Cryptozoology (now-defunct). Loren Coleman’s daily blog, as a member of the Cryptomundo Team, served as an ongoing avenue of communication for the ever-growing body of cryptozoo news from 2005 through 2013. He returned as an infrequent contributor beginning Halloween week of 2015. Coleman is the founder in 2003, and current director of the International Cryptozoology Museum in Portland, Maine.

14 Responses to “Borneo’s Lost World: 52 new species”

  1. kittenz responds:

    Terrific news!

    Who knows what else may be out there?

    The limits of our vision are defined only by our willingness to see.

  2. fuzzy responds:

    “The limits of our vision are defined only by our willingness to see.”

    Great phrase, kittenz ~ may I quote it?

  3. fuzzy responds:

    Nice to know that there’s still at least one place out there that hasn’t been totally destroyed by man’s greed and pollution. Could there be others?

  4. Ceroill responds:

    Of course there are a few others. That’s why they keep finding ‘new’ species.

  5. vet72 responds:

    This definitely is positive news to be sure. With the discovery of all these new species it cannot be emphasized enough the importance of wildlife and habitat preservation. I just hope the people of Borneo realize the importance and neccessity of protecting these biological treasures that they have.

  6. quasi-modo responds:

    I wonder when they start looking for oil down there….

  7. Loren Coleman responds:

    Quasi, you are a few decades behind that breaking news. 🙂

    Oil has been part of the drama in that part of the world for years. Standard-Vacuum Oil Company, for example, was involved in explorations for oil in Indonesia (Borneo, Sumatra, etc.) since at least 1898. In my biography of oilman & cryptozoology expedition sponsor Tom Slick, I explored the backstory of how his contacts with people working for Standard operations in transporting oil were his way to try to discover more about the Sumatran rhinos and Orang Pendek.

  8. kittenz responds:

    You sure can quote me if you want to, fuzzy. I’m honored.

    I’m really excited by all the recent news from Indonesia and southeastern Asia. I hope that measures will be taken to preserve the are a so that it can be fully studied. Already we have all these newly discovered species, even a “new” carnivore, and two newly discovered subspecies of big cats.

    I can’t wait to see what turns up next!

  9. mystery_man responds:

    Ahhh, that’s the stuff. Very exciting whenever there’s news like this. With all the deforestation, logging, habitat destruction and general exploitation of the natural world going on, it’s good to see that there are still mysteries and wonders left. That these little untouched patches of peace and discovery still exist out there always gives me hope for the planet.

  10. DARHOP responds:

    The only bummer I can see here is, I’m sure I will be seeing them fighting fish in the pet stores before you know it.. I can see it now… NEW EXOTIC FIGHTING FISH… 25$ each… What a bummer… Anybody think I’m wrong…? Didn’t think so… It sure is to bad that as soon as we find something new we have to put it on display or try and make a $ off it..!!!

  11. TheHunter responds:

    This is very positive information in the wake of the Baiji news. I agree intently with DARHOP that somebody will find a way to make a dollar or two off of this incredible discovery as is the nature of human kind. However in the infancy of this discovery, perhaps someone will recognize this “lost world” for what it is, a remarkable place, with wildlife as unseen anywhere, and preserve it.

  12. youcantryreachingme responds:

    And you know what? Putting those fish into the hands of avid aquarists is probably the one thing that will save them.

    Wouldn’t you love to be one of the researchers in the field? 😀


  13. sharmcos responds:

    Great news!

    The neighbouring New Guinea island is another “Lost World”.

    Does anybody have the latest on the expedition to find Ropen and Duah there? And the small sauropod too.

  14. Pvolitans responds:

    Tom Slick, from an oil exploration company. What a name most apt!

Sorry. Comments have been closed.

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