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Explorers Discover Huge Cave and New Poison Frogs
Live Science ^ | Wed Feb 22, 12:00 PM ET | Bjorn Carey

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 isn’t 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 frog’s 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.


TOPICS: News/Current Events
KEYWORDS: ecoping; frogs; herps; nature

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

1 posted on 02/22/2006 2:00:19 PM PST by GreenFreeper
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To: blam; Carry_Okie; Chanticleer; ClearCase_guy; cogitator; CollegeRepublican; ...
ECO-PING

FReepmail me to be added or removed to the ECO-PING list!

Sorry to post and run...

2 posted on 02/22/2006 2:01:19 PM PST by GreenFreeper (Not blind opposition to progress, but opposition to blind progress)
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To: GreenFreeper

Hmmm, that opening looks familiar....but I just can't place it.


3 posted on 02/22/2006 2:02:51 PM PST by MadeInAmerica ( - Tested in the Middle East)
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To: GreenFreeper

Cueva del Fantasa? [sic]


4 posted on 02/22/2006 2:04:59 PM PST by 1rudeboy
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To: GreenFreeper

Wow, those are real helicopters? That cave is gigantic. And the poison frog is even bigger!


5 posted on 02/22/2006 2:05:57 PM PST by DannyTN
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To: GreenFreeper
How about someone going into these caves with rubber gloves, and scarfing up a few dozens of these little guys then slipping them to one of our military folks that would be in the Saddam trial room. The next time either Saddam or his half ass brother start shooting their big mouths off, the military guy can toss these little guys into the docket cage.
We will find out how effective their poison is and at the same time do all mankind a favor.
6 posted on 02/22/2006 2:13:22 PM PST by Marine_Uncle (Honor must be earned)
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To: GreenFreeper
The area, known as the Venezuelan Guayana, is one of the most biologically rich, geologically ancient and unspoiled parts of the world.

yeah...yeah...yeah...whatever. But did they find any gold? or is there something we can exploit? :)

7 posted on 02/22/2006 2:17:34 PM PST by mikeus_maximus
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To: GreenFreeper


8 posted on 02/22/2006 2:22:59 PM PST by Clint N. Suhks (If you don't like Jesus, you can go to hell.)
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To: MadeInAmerica

That's not the Airwolf cave is it?


9 posted on 02/22/2006 2:24:37 PM PST by AFreeBird (your mileage may vary)
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To: GreenFreeper

COOL!


10 posted on 02/22/2006 2:25:32 PM PST by LegendHasIt
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To: GreenFreeper

They should try and protect this area before it becomes an amusement park for rich tourist. I'm too late, aren't I?


11 posted on 02/22/2006 2:32:27 PM PST by wolfcreek
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To: GreenFreeper

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.


12 posted on 02/22/2006 2:32:29 PM PST by Loud Mime (Republicans protect Americans from terrorists, Democrats protect terrorists from Americans)
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To: GreenFreeper

Toy helicopters?


13 posted on 02/22/2006 2:42:23 PM PST by joesnuffy (A camel once bit our sister..but we knew just what to do...we gathered rocks and squashed her!)
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To: GreenFreeper
Amazing.

I hope they find some ancient human remains in there.

14 posted on 02/22/2006 2:52:18 PM PST by blam
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To: GreenFreeper
This discovery, not widely reported, was detailed in the Jan. 17 issue of the journal Zootaxa.

Darn!....I just canceled my subscription to Zootaxa in December!

15 posted on 02/22/2006 2:56:52 PM PST by GreenHornet
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To: GreenFreeper

That's gorgeous. I'm surpised someone isn't already living in there.


16 posted on 02/22/2006 2:57:22 PM PST by Centurion2000 ("If you're going to shoot somebody, Shoot! Don't talk!")
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To: GreenFreeper
Why that could be the cave where Godzilla lives!!
These fools may have mistakenly awaken the beast! Which will rampage downtown Caracas and threaten Hugo Cha... well maybe not a total loss.
17 posted on 02/22/2006 3:00:05 PM PST by MaDeuce (Do it to them, before they do it to you!)
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To: GreenFreeper

Picture looks like something out of an Edgar Rice Borroughs novel.

A lost world.

This planet never fails to astound!


18 posted on 02/22/2006 3:00:42 PM PST by Names Ash Housewares
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To: AFreeBird
"That's not the Airwolf cave is it?

They found our cave???


19 posted on 02/22/2006 3:40:13 PM PST by Chinito (6990th Security Group, RC-135/Combat Apple, SEA Class of '68)
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To: MadeInAmerica

You and Ray Romano's dad? lol


20 posted on 02/22/2006 3:43:19 PM PST by RetSignman (( HELP...I'm trapped between these curved things))
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To: MadeInAmerica

I think it would look even more familiar from the outside looking in.


21 posted on 02/22/2006 3:45:07 PM PST by Slicksadick (Go out on a limb........Its where the fruit is.)
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To: MadeInAmerica

lol...


22 posted on 02/22/2006 3:50:24 PM PST by sit-rep (If you acquire, hit it again to verify...)
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To: GreenFreeper

Wow, amazing something that huge hasn't been discovered before. Anyone got the coordinates? Wanna check it out on Google Earth.


23 posted on 02/22/2006 3:50:50 PM PST by LibWhacker
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To: GreenFreeper
Coincidentally, Arthur Conan Doyle's The Lost World was also located atop a Venezualen tepui.
24 posted on 02/22/2006 7:59:01 PM PST by RightWingAtheist (Creationism Is Not Conservative!)
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To: GreenFreeper

Interesting frog... but unbelievable cave-like thingy. What a beautiful country.


25 posted on 02/23/2006 4:03:17 AM PST by Chanticleer (Let us speak courteously, deal fairly, and keep ourselves armed and ready. T. Roosevelt)
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To: MadeInAmerica

Yes, looks like paradise to me


26 posted on 02/23/2006 4:06:54 AM PST by Quick Shot
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To: DannyTN; GreenFreeper
...are those real helicopters? That cave is gigantic. And the poison frog is even bigger!

Agree...Heap big Cave narrow gorge. (up-lifted / rain-carved ?)
Quick...Hide from the frog...rem. the movie, "FROGS / Ssssss", very forgettable sci-fi...but, the french, would love those Frog 's Legs.

Thx..gf

27 posted on 02/23/2006 6:18:03 AM PST by skinkinthegrass (Just because you're paranoid, doesn't mean they aren't out to get you :^)
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To: RightWingAtheist
..was also located atop a Venezualen tepui.

Thx...Thats' what, I was lookin' for.
like Angle's Falls

28 posted on 02/23/2006 6:24:58 AM PST by skinkinthegrass (Just because you're paranoid, doesn't mean they aren't out to get you :^)
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To: Vic3O3

Ping!


29 posted on 02/27/2006 9:42:20 PM PST by dd5339 (A sheepdog, a warrior, someone who is walking the hero's path.)
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To: GreenFreeper

An interesting thing about the Dendrobitid frogs....the poison in their skin comes from the bugs they eat. Frogs raised on non-poisonous bugs aren't poisonous themselves.


30 posted on 02/27/2006 9:57:31 PM PST by poindexter
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To: GreenFreeper
Lost world?

Can dinosaurs be far behind.
31 posted on 02/27/2006 10:00:16 PM PST by TASMANIANRED (The Internet is the samizdat of liberty..".Liberty is the right and hope of all humanity"GW Bush)
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To: GreenFreeper

I'm in the wrong business! I should be looking for pretty frogs...


32 posted on 02/27/2006 10:08:48 PM PST by Randy Larsen (I BELIEVE CONGRESSMAN WELDON!!!)
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To: Randy Larsen

trust me, its not a very lucrative career!


33 posted on 02/28/2006 7:45:14 AM PST by GreenFreeper (Not blind opposition to progress, but opposition to blind progress)
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