Scientists have discovered a new species of freshwater turtles in Papua New Guinea, who had witnessed the entire geological history of the island of New Guinea, reports Asia One.
Mountainous tropical island of New Guinea, half of which is occupied by the state of Papua New Guinea, is renowned for its biological diversity. A substantial part of the island remains relatively unexplored. The other half of the island belongs to Indonesia.
A new kind of turtle — Elseya rhodini — is related in some distant way with the other two — Elseya novaeguineae and Elseya schultzei, common throughout the island. According to lead author of the study Arthur Georgia from the University of Canberra, all three species evolved from a common ancestor 17-19 million years ago.
«This is a very long time, and this is surprising, as it means that these turtles have witnessed the entire geological history of the island of New Guinea,» said the scientist. He added that other species of freshwater turtles arrived on New Guinea, when the island was already formed and in General was in the same condition as now.
The new species belongs to the family seinalea turtles — they differ in that don’t involve the neck inside, and just lay it sideways under the shell. The area of distribution of the family is restricted to South America and Australia.
The difference between the new species from closely it was found through genetic analysis and other data. According to Georgia, turtle «very pretty», and its distinguishing feature is a characteristic reddish coloring.
We will remind, in 2012 a group of American scientists have discovered in Papua New Guinea hitherto unknown species of frogs that are the smallest members of his family. The length of the frogs, which received the Latin name of Paedophryne amauensis, is only about 7 millimeters.
Scientists have found in Papua New Guinea a new kind of «pretty» turtles 17.02.2016