The new EDGE mammals list has arrived! Latest research reveals a staggering 49 new species on the EDGE of Existence.
The Zoological Society of London's EDGE program identifies the world’s most Evolutionarily Distinct and Globally Endangered species, including "some of the weirdest and most wonderful species on the planet." Which is just up our alley on this blog, and the best one on this list has to be the Attenborough's long-beaked echidna.
Any echidna is a pretty rare creature, seeing as it's an egg-laying mammal. But this species is especially so. It was considered extinct until evidence of its existence was found on an expedition in 2007. Reports from that expedition were not 100% encouraging, however:
One of the world's rarest creatures, Attenborough's long-beaked echidna, appears to be alive and well, conservationists say. It is also reportedly quite delicious.
Thought to live on just one mountain peak in Indonesia, the locals say it's "very greasy and extremely tasty," and have a tradition of sharing one with enemies to restore peace. They didn't know it was unique to their area, and it's hoped that learning this will encourage them to conserve it.
It's hard not to have mixed feelings about this EDGE business. I love to be introduced to a weird animal I never knew existed but it sure would be nice if sometimes it was because of good news, you know?
-Wombat (No Relation)
Photo, of a different species of long-beaked echidna from Papau New Guinea, from the Guardian (The one on the list is so rare, no one's gotten a picture of it.)