Unexpected Discoveries in Remote Australia

The island continent of Australia has been isolated from the world’s major land masses long enough to harbor some peculiar species, but now it has yielded some new surprises. In the Telegraph, published in London, we read Scientists discover new species in ‘Lost World’ in Australia. They say:

On the second day of a four-day trek to Cape Melville a team led by Dr Conrad Hoskin, from James Cook University, and Dr Tim Laman, from Harvard University, discovered a “bizarre” looking leaf-tailed gecko, a golden-coloured skink and a boulder-dwelling frog — species that have been isolated from their closest cousins for millions of years.

Millions of years? How blasphemous! Ol’ Hambo is going to have a fit over this. The tale continues:

Accessible only by helicopter, the upland plateau area is a 1.8 by 1.8 mile patch which sits on a “monstrous wall” of “millions of giant, piled up boulders the size of houses and cars”. The whole mountain range is around nine miles long and three wide.

Having known of the range for more than a decade, Dr Hoskin’s interest was reignited when the advent of Google Earth allowed him to view it from above. But nothing could prepare him for finally setting foot there and seeing an “incredible rainforest” with “good earth” and “clear, flowing streams”.

This place has been sitting there in the middle of Australia all this time, unexplored? Amazing! Let’s leave the Telegraph and go to this article at PhysOrg: ‘Lost world’ discovered in remote Australia. Here are some excerpts, with bold font added by us:

An expedition to a remote part of northern Australia has uncovered three new vertebrate species isolated for millions of years, with scientists Monday calling the area a “lost world”.

Conrad Hoskin from James Cook University and a National Geographic film crew were dropped by helicopter onto the rugged Cape Melville mountain range on Cape York Peninsula earlier this year and were amazed at what they found. It included a bizarre looking leaf-tail gecko, a gold-coloured skink — a type of lizard — and a brown-spotted, yellow boulder-dwelling frog, none of them ever seen before.

That’s gotta be a once-in-a-lifetime experience, rather like the first Europeans who visited the Galapagos Islands — except this is in the middle of a long-settled nation. We’ll let you click over there to read the descriptions of the new species they found. Here’s a bit more:

Tim Laman, a National Geographic photographer and Harvard University researcher who joined Hoskin on the expedition, said he was stunned to know such undiscovered places remained. “What’s really exciting about this expedition is that in a place like Australia, which people think is fairly well explored, there are still places like Cape Melville where there are all these species to discover,” he said. “There’s still a big world out there to explore.”

So there you are. We can’t imagine what the creationists will say about this — if anything. All they ever seem to say is that “Darwinists” are stupid and they (the creation scientists of various flavors) already know everything worth knowing. They won’t disappoint us.

Copyright © 2013. The Sensuous Curmudgeon. All rights reserved.

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11 responses to “Unexpected Discoveries in Remote Australia

  1. No, no, no. It was differential sorting in a turbulent flow regime during Noah’s Great Global Flood that placed such strange species on The Antipodes. Did they measure those creatures’ densities and Reynold’s numbers? No, they didn’t. And those measurements, i.e. the mystical three by nine miles, prove it’s of divine origin. Forget about all that biogeography and genetic isolation gumph. Sheesh, it’s so darn simple, even a child of three can see it. Oh, wait…

  2. Tim Laman is quite right. We are a large continent here with a modest population of around 23 million and lots of territory to be still explored. Creationists still have to explain how Noah got the kangaroos, platypus, koala bears and wombats here. An arduous journey.

  3. carloso42 says: “Creationists still have to explain how Noah got the kangaroos, platypus, koala bears and wombats here. An arduous journey.”

    No problem. You’re on the underside of the flat Earth, and the Flood was only on the top side. As for the wombats, nobody else wanted them. I’m more interested in how the sloth managed to get to South America.

  4. I have often said that it is quite impossible for an Australian to be a Young Earth Creationist. Ken Ham is the exception that proves the rule.

  5. Funny place, Oz. In 1994 a bushwalker found an entire gorge filled with Wollemi Pines which were thought extinct for the last 150 million years just outside Sydney.

    Did I just say 150 million years? Eeeek!

  6. It would be amazing if there were any new monotremes discovered. Fascinating creatures.

  7. If we’re hoping for a discovery of a supposedly extinct creature, I’d hope for a multituberculate. They’ve been extinct for only, what, 35 million years, after a long history of survival. That’s a lot less than your 150 million years for wollemi pines and 60-some million years for coelacanths. Almost contemporaneous!

  8. I suspect that the backcountry of Australia is where the Intelligent Designer has been hanging out for hundreds of millions of years. He is admiring his handiwork and bemoaning the fact that his not-so-intelligently designed humans are destroying much of his creation. Maybe I can get a DI grant to start a search.

  9. TomSc, what the heck is a “multituberculate.”

  10. Of course the Intelligent Designer lives in outback Australia.

    Probably in Barcaldine, the home town of the world’s first successful working class political party. I mean to say, if you are intelligent, where else would you choose to live?

    But seriously, if you want a place to study the speciation phenomenon, Australia is worth a visit. Where else can you find the world’s largest hardwood tree (and the smallest), a frog that broods its young in its mouth, a hairy duck thingy, natural history’s most appalling pigeon, and a jellyfish that could kill an entire team of investment bankers with a single tentacle.

    It is an interesting place for biologists. Dangerous, but interesting. Oh, and by the way, I would climb up on a chair if I were you, the snottie got out of its aquarium last night.

  11. From Wikipedia

    “The Multituberculata were a group of rodent-like mammals that existed for approximately one hundred and twenty million years—the longest fossil history of any mammal lineage—but were eventually outcompeted by rodents, becoming extinct during the early Oligocene. … Multituberculates are usually placed outside either of the two main groups of living mammals—Theria, including placentals and marsupials, and Monotremata …”