Brazilian researchers discover 12 new species of animals in the Amazon

Publicado em 26 junho 2018

Brazilian researchers have discovered 12 new animal species in the Amazon jungle, after two expeditions collected over 1,700 specimens of over 200 types of flora and fauna.

The 12 new species are frogs and lizards, apart from one owl, the state-owned news agency, Agencia Brasil, revealed on Tuesday.

All of them were identified during the two expeditions, one made in late 2017 and one in April and May, financed by the state of Sao Paulo.

According to Miguel Trefaut Rodrigues, the expedition leader and a zoologist at the University of Sao Paulo (USP), the objective was to study the influence of the waters of the Branco River on the diversity and abundance of species.

The Branco River is a river in the Amazon and one of the main tributaries of the Negro River, which runs through Brazil's northernmost state of Roraima.

The expeditions also collected data to study the influence of the Negro River as a barrier to the movement of species.

In terms of specific research aims, the investigators wanted to better understand the origins of the Loxopholis genus of lizards, which reproduce asexually and have a number of species made up only of females.

The specimens collected will be used to analyze the evolutionary patterns of South American fauna.

"Various groups of animals are being studied from a genetic, morphological and physiological point of view. Some of these studies will help to understand the risk of extinction for these species if the temperature rises in the coming years," commented Trefaut Rodrigues.