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Expedition discovers 60 new species in Suriname

A team of biologists from several countries explored remote areas of Suriname where there is no human presence and came across dozens of species native to that area that have never been catalogued before.

The expedition was undertaken during 2012 in the thinly-populated South American country north of Brazil and bounded by Guyana, French Guiana and the Atlantic Ocean, and it included a team of 16 scientists participating in a Conservation International program.

The scientists' work resulted in the discovery of 60 completely new species, including six types of frogs, one snake, 11 types of fish and a number of insects.

The discoveries were made in the upper basin of the Palumeu River where, for example, the team reported the existence of the "cocoa frog," a chocolate-colored arboreal species that is helped by the rounded shape of its fingers to position itself in the treetops.

Another of the more noteworthy finds of the expedition was that of a small "Lilliputian beatle" just 2.3 mm long considered to be - probably - the second-smallest such insect in South America with antennae that allow it to sense smells from a great distance away.

Suriname contains 25 percent of the world's rainforests and 95 percent of its territory is unspoiled jungle, Conservation International said.

The organisation has worked with Suriname's government for more than 20 years to protect its most important asset: the rainforest with its astounding biodiversity.

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