Skip to comments.Explorers Discover Huge Cave and New Poison Frogs
Posted on 02/22/2006 2:00:18 PM PST by GreenFreeper
Bjorn Carey LiveScience Staff Writer LiveScience.com Wed Feb 22, 12:00 PM ET
A cave so huge helicopters can fly into it has just been discovered deep in the hills of a South American jungle paradise. ADVERTISEMENT
Actually, "Cueva del Fantasma"Spanish for "Cave of the Ghost"is so vast that two helicopters can comfortably fly into it and land next to a towering waterfall.
It was found in the slopes of Aprada tepui in southern Venezuela, one of the most inaccessible and unexplored regions of the world. The area, known as the Venezuelan Guayana, is one of the most biologically rich, geologically ancient and unspoiled parts of the world.
This is the first geographic report and photographic evidence of such an immense cave. However, researchers say, it isnt really a cave, but a huge, collapsed, steep gorge.
As a bonus, researchers also discovered a new dendrobatid frog species, Colostethus breweri, named for the frogs identifier, Charles Brewer-Carías. Dendrobatid frogs make up the group of amphibians commonly known as "poison dart" frogs.
This is the second report recently to describe a newfound paradise of sorts containing previously unknown animal species.
Scientists distinguished C. breweri from its close relatives by its particular skin pattern, absence of fringes on fingers, moderate toe webbing, tongue characteristics, and yellow and orange coloration on its undersides. It is described as a fast-moving frog that lives along creeks and in quiet pools along small streams along the slopes near the cave.
This is the eighteenth described species of Colostethus discovered in Venezuelan Guayana.
This discovery, not widely reported, was detailed in the Jan. 17 issue of the journal Zootaxa.
Female specimen of the newly identified Colostethus breweri. Credit: Charles Brewer-Carias, reproduced from Zootaxa with permission of Magnolia Press
View from inside Cueva del Fantasma, Aprada tepui, Venezuela. Note the size of the two helicopters at the entrance. This is the first geographic report and photograph of such a huge cave. Credit: Charles Brewer-Carias, reproduced from Zootaxa with permission of Magnolia Press
Hmmm, that opening looks familiar....but I just can't place it.
Cueva del Fantasa? [sic]
Wow, those are real helicopters? That cave is gigantic. And the poison frog is even bigger!
yeah...yeah...yeah...whatever. But did they find any gold? or is there something we can exploit? :)
That's not the Airwolf cave is it?
They should try and protect this area before it becomes an amusement park for rich tourist. I'm too late, aren't I?
What a cool article!
That little frog reminds me of the ones we had in Panama. Little things were gold and poisonous (so we were told) and had this "Gooo" sound at night.
I hope they find some ancient human remains in there.
Darn!....I just canceled my subscription to Zootaxa in December!
That's gorgeous. I'm surpised someone isn't already living in there.
Picture looks like something out of an Edgar Rice Borroughs novel.
A lost world.
This planet never fails to astound!
They found our cave???
You and Ray Romano's dad? lol
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