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New species of 'Pac-Man frog' discovered in South American jungle (along with 45 other creatures never seen before)


Leaping into the record books: The 'Pac Man frog' was discovered by scientists deep in the jungle of Suriname in South America

A new species of frog has been discovered by scientists hidden deep inside the South American jungle. Scientists also unearthed another 45 species during a three-year project where they were helped by tribes who live in villages along the Kutari and Sipaliwini Rivers in Suriname. The creature has been named the 'Pac-Man Frog' after the video game character as it has a mouth as wide as its body and can swallow whole its prey of fish, other frogs and even mice.

Standing out from the crowd: Dozens of species of insects were discovered including this fierce Great Horned beetle

Dozens of insects were also discovered including a vivid blue beetle the size of a snooker ball. A new kind of katydid, nicknamed the 'Crayola Katydid', was also thought to have been found during the trip.
Another potentially new species of frog was spotted and nicknamed the 'cowboy' thanks to the white fringes down its legs and a spur-like mass on each heel.

Cutie: The 'Cowboy' frog was nicknamed because of the white fringing down its legs and a spur-like shape on each heel

An 'armoured' catfish, covered in spines was caught - a natural deterrent for giant piranhas which also swim the inhospitable waters. Eight other new species of freshwater fish were found during the expedition which ended in 2010.
The discoveries were made by Conservation International, a non-profit team of scientists who were helped in their journey into one of the world's densest jungles by local guides. In total, they documented almost 1,300 species along the Kutari and Sipaliwini Rivers.

Winged beauty: A new species of katydid, nicknamed the 'Crayola Katydid' was also thought to have been discovered by scientists on a trip to southwest Suriname

Trond Larsen, director of the program, said: 'As a scientist, it is thrilling to study these remote forests where countless new discoveries await, especially since we believe that protecting these landscapes while they remain pristine provides perhaps the greatest opportunity for maintaining globally important biodiversity and the ecosystems people depend upon for generations to come.'
Suriname has a population of half a million people with most living in the capital Paramaribo or along the Atlantic Coast. It the smallest independent country in South America. A similar trip to the country by researchers in 2007 unearthed 24 new species.

Swamp thing: A new species of damselfly which breeds in forest swamps was found by scientists as they trekked through Suriname

Spiky: The 'armored catfish' is thought to have developed the barbs to prevent it being eaten by piranhas

source: dailymail