During an expedition to the Cyclops Mountains in Indonesia’s Papua province, a team of researchers has spotted Attenborough’s long-beaked echidna (Zaglossus attenboroughi), more than 60 years after it was last recorded.
The animal belongs to a unique group of egg-laying mammals called monotremes. The diet of Attenborough’s long-beaked echidna consists of insects, earthworms, and termites. This echidna species is so special because it is one of only five remaining species of monotremes and is considered critically endangered.
In addition to the rediscovery of the echidna, the expedition carried out the first comprehensive assessment of mammals, reptiles, amphibians, and invertebrates in the Cyclops Mountains. Collaboration with locals and the use of advanced techniques allowed the team to discover countless new species of insects and an entirely new genus of tree-dwelling shrimp.