At the same time numerous species, such as the black rhino, face extinction, scientists have been discovering an array of interesting new species such as a purring titi monkey and vegetarian pirhana found in the Amazon in 2007.
Now, they can add three more previously unknown animals to that list, a rock loving frog, a camouflaged leaf-tail gecko, and a golden-colored skink that (until now) have successfully avoided human contact in the rain forests of the Cape Melville Mountain Range, located on Australia's Cape York Peninsula.
Only 9 miles long, the mountains have been dubbed a “lost world” by Natural Geographic, which funded the expedition to a “misty world cut off from the rest of the planet for millions of years by nearly impassable chunks of granite.”
"Finding three new, obviously distinct vertebrates would be surprising enough in somewhere poorly explored like New Guinea, let alone in Australia, a country we think we've explored pretty well," stated Conrad Hoskin, a biologist at James Cook University in Queensland.
He also noted that the three animals have developed some extremely odd adaptations to their strange world, such as the leaf tail gecko’s huge eyes which can see in dark crevices between boulders, and the fact that the “new” frog only ventures out from its hiding place deep inside the fields of boulders when it rains.
"You might wonder how a frog's tadpoles can live in a 'hollow' boulder-field with no water sitting around," Hoskin said. "The answer is that the eggs are laid in moist rock cracks and the tadpoles develop within the eggs, guarded by the male, until fully-formed froglets hatch out."
In addition, the skink sports unusually long legs which it uses to run and jump its rocky homeland.