Attenborough is not extinct: Scientists have proven that an ancient egg-laying mammal named after Sir David Attenborough and thought to be extinct is actually alive and well.
Attenborough’s long-beaked echidna, thought to have existed since the time of the dinosaurs, was captured on camera in Indonesia by an Oxford University expedition.
This spiky, furry, beaked creature has been described as a “living fossil” because it is 200 million years old and still alive.
Before the release of this video, scientists were relying on a specimen of this creature that was in museums and was decades old to prove its existence.
Dr. James Kempton, who led the expedition, said: “I was delighted, the whole team was delighted.”
I’m not kidding when I say that the last SD card we looked at came from the last camera we collected on the last day of our trip.
Dr. Kempton said he had been in touch with Attenborough about the rediscovery and the broadcaster was “absolutely delighted”.
The expedition also discovered new species of insects and frogs on the expedition, which they discovered in previously unexplored areas of the Cyclops Mountains, a steep, high-altitude region in Papua, Indonesia.
The scientists faced many hardships during their journey, including being hit twice by earthquakes and having to climb narrow ridges flanked by cliffs, often in heavy rain.
Dr. Kempton added: “You’re slipping all over the place. You’re getting scratched and cut. There are poisonous animals around you, deadly snakes like the death gatherer.
“There are leeches literally everywhere. Leeches are not only on the ground, but they climb trees, they hang from trees, and then they come down on you to suck your blood.”
He said he hopes the rediscovery will help boost conservation efforts in the Cyclops Mountains. This species is currently not protected in Indonesia and scientists do not know how many there are.
“With so much of the rainforest unexplored, what else is out there that we haven’t yet discovered? Attenborough’s long-beaked echidna is a symbol of what we need to protect – to make sure we can discover