October 4th, 2012
12:12 PM ET

160 new species found on Malaysian peak

About 160 new species have been discovered on a mountain in Borneo, researchers reported Thursday.

Fungi and spiders dominate the new species on Mount Kinabalu, the Malaysian and Dutch researchers said, but there are also new beetles and snails on the creature list and ferns on the plant list.

A frog the researchers found may also prove to be new once DNA testing is done, they said.

"While the detailed scientific work will take years, we already know that many of these species are new to science," researcher József Geml said in a press release.

The research was conducted by Sabah Parks, a Malaysian conservation organization, and Naturalis Biodiversity Center in the Netherlands.

They went to the mountain to collect DNA samples and try to determine whether species there evolved recently or long ago on the Malaysian peak.

At 13,435 feet, Kinabalu is the largest mountain in the Malay archipelago. It is a Malaysian national park and a UNESCO World Heritage Site.

All told, about 3,500 DNA samples were collected from more than 1,400 species. Researchers plan a publication on how evolution works in Borneo by the middle of next year.

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Filed under: Discoveries • News • On Earth
soundoff (122 Responses)
  1. Picture #3...

    They finally found my ex-wife! Didn't see any pics of the kids I haven't seen in 15 years...

    March 6, 2013 at 9:40 pm |
  2. Daniel

    Nature is so cool. Imagine what this planet would look like without humans messing it up.

    October 22, 2012 at 1:10 pm |
    • zac

      i hear that daniel

      December 13, 2012 at 8:46 am |
  3. Jessie

    Look at the wing tips on that moth. It looks like two eyes and a mouth of a snake such as a milk snake or one of those snakes that is red, black and yellow. I wonder if there are similar snakes in the same area.

    October 20, 2012 at 12:07 am |
  4. trombonebiker

    For every destroyed species more will be created.

    October 18, 2012 at 1:24 pm |
    • Lee

      I wish that were true, but EVERY biologist I know of disagrees with your notion. SYLVAN LEEF

      October 20, 2012 at 3:33 pm |
  5. rad666

    Poor things, I often think that the worst thing that can happen to a species is that the human population 'discovers' them

    October 17, 2012 at 2:26 pm |
    • lightzz

      You are totally correct ... next will come a exhibit or something and then more people and food and then destruction of the whole area ... and then dna samples kept on ice ...

      Same az it ever waz...

      October 21, 2012 at 3:29 pm |
  6. theresa

    I thought so too, and wondered the same.

    October 15, 2012 at 3:41 pm |
  7. Gloria

    Hmmm...signs of evolution- some die, some sprout. One creatures pollutant is another creatures fresh air, water, ground. Wonderful system that will outlast us I do believe.

    October 13, 2012 at 9:27 pm |
  8. julie

    To say that about isreal I hope you like hell when you get there. Your mind is twisted. Goodbye loser.

    October 11, 2012 at 11:52 pm |
    • Governor Odius

      Why are xtians so nasty? Honey and locusts and kind words would win more converts...if that is what you want.

      October 17, 2012 at 6:11 pm |
  9. julie

    I hope the people of this country wake up. Biden lied on a few things I caught him saying as in Iran not close on nuclear weapons. Let the truth be told he's helping them get weapons to lie about . And he for the government running the people. We might as well be china hello young dumb people out there. Do you know Obama care is going to pentilize the people who don't have insurance at the end of the year on your taxes. Mark this down they are already planning with the anti Christ to take over if they get four more years. Wake up dumb young people. You are going to pay dearly. That's a fact. Write it down.

    October 11, 2012 at 11:49 pm |
    • yourVotesdontMAtter

      why the hell are you talking about politics on a scientific posting. really take it elsewhere no one wants to hear this here.

      October 12, 2012 at 11:27 am |
    • Poltergliest

      Irrelevant, the Mayan gods armagedon is scheduled to go down sooner.

      October 13, 2012 at 9:25 am |
    • Sasquatch

      Silly Girl, Julie...don't you know? Politics and Science don't mix. If I actually cared about your opinion, I would almost ask what exactly made you think making a comment like that in a science forum would be even remotely relevant? We are not interested in your "Anti Christ conspiracy" nonsense. And as far as us being "young dumb people", I'd venture to guess most folks that frequent this site have a greater grasp of science than you and the degree to back it up. "Young Dumb People", indeed!

      October 24, 2012 at 3:26 pm |
  10. Legolas

    You are right, Antonio, but I'm pretty sure you haven't been in a war lately. 😛

    October 7, 2012 at 9:50 pm |
  11. Sofiya

    this butterfly looks like prosciutto

    October 6, 2012 at 5:49 pm |
    • Nathan

      oh my god, Sofiya, I thought the same thing!

      October 12, 2012 at 5:03 pm |
      • john

        shurrrrre u did

        October 22, 2012 at 5:46 pm |
    • J A

      It is not a butterfly! It is a Moth!

      October 15, 2012 at 12:11 am |
  12. Observer

    The orchid is not Calanthe woodii. It is an unusual Coelogyne species. Unusual, due in part to the fact the
    flower stems are associated with a very large bract or sheath on the inflorescence, (flower stalk). Calanthes
    are not an Old World species but rather only found in the New World in South America.

    October 6, 2012 at 2:10 pm |
  13. Carlo

    What if they are defects as has been mentioned before and some how they start showing up in US or Europe or other part of the world? Now that is scary, dont you agree?

    October 6, 2012 at 11:07 am |
  14. mikrik13

    Probably pollution mutants from the upper atmosphere.

    October 6, 2012 at 10:20 am |
    • YoYo

      I was thinking the same thing. I believe these species are linked to earlier species, but they've had so many mutations from everything happening on earth that they evolve into what we see. Heck cancer cells mutate millions of time (more or less I thought) in a matter of days/months/years.

      November 1, 2012 at 7:16 pm |
  15. Rufus T. Firefly

    The tips of the wings on that moth look like the head of a newt or small snake. I wonder if there is some sort of defensive mimicry going on there.

    October 6, 2012 at 3:39 am |
    • ghostmeat

      I agree. Now to locate a newt or snake that looks like the wingtips in the same area. Probably wouldn't have to go far.

      October 30, 2012 at 4:56 am |
  16. KZilla

    And don't forget the microorganisms they're bringing back.

    October 5, 2012 at 1:05 pm |
  17. TruthMatters

    Evolution, as all other natural processes and laws, was created by God. Evolution doesn't prove God doesn't exist. For bunch of science lovers, you sure aren't that smart. Scientists are human beings and are prone to the same flaws as other human beings, i.e. unwarranted exaggeration and extrapolation. You can't prove the non existance of God. You can't prove the existance of God either. That's why its called faith. Natural observations don't in and of themselves prove anything.

    October 5, 2012 at 12:48 pm |
    • peterz

      If there were more than one faith existing then faith was supposed to be under evolution too, if evolution was accepted in the picture of creation.

      October 5, 2012 at 12:57 pm |
    • Local

      Sorry. I don't care what you said about these species found in my country, but I'm sure it has nothing to do with religion and politics.

      October 5, 2012 at 12:58 pm |
    • Raider

      Faith is the desperate attempt to cling to idiotic beliefs when those beliefs have been proven to be ridiculous repeatedly.

      October 5, 2012 at 1:33 pm |
      • God is real

        There is a god. If you can't accept that then,well, I wouldn't want to be in your shoes. I deeply pity you because your ignorance has corrupted you.

        October 21, 2012 at 8:47 pm |
      • Primewonk

        @ god is real – Perhaps you could explain why none of you fundiots can understand why Pascal's Gambit is false?

        October 22, 2012 at 8:19 am |
      • YoYo

        Maybe instead of people talking about religion and science we should all just sit back and enjoy earths beauty

        November 1, 2012 at 7:18 pm |
    • dragonfire77

      I've said for a long time that science and religion are not mutually exclusive. They should just stick to their respective fields. Religion should stay out of scientific explanation, and science should stop trying to prove or disprove god.

      October 10, 2012 at 1:23 pm |
    • ghostmeat

      While I agree that no "proof" is unequivocal, I must point out that you are either exceptionally arrogant, verging on self jingoism, or paranoid. Science isn't the bogeyman "out to get" your precious "god". Science just explores and "proves" many things that make the existence of Yahweh, or Allah, or Xenu, less likely. Any pastor or priest will tell you that doubt is okay, but they would never encourage you to explore that doubt. The modern "Christian", if any can be so called, is less interested in their relationship with Christ, so much as they are interested in the same thing everyone else is: survival. Unfortunately, these individuals believe that survival need not end with the failure of their corporeal form, and thusly we all must be accosted by their beliefs because they feel threatened by some pictures of pretty things that humans just discovered, accompanied by journalistic exposition. Save it for the light board outside your local parish next time so the rest of us pagan heathens can think.

      October 30, 2012 at 4:51 am |
  18. Ron P

    I sure would like to try that purple mushroom..

    October 5, 2012 at 12:44 pm |
    • fosho

      no kidding! lol i thought it was blue

      October 6, 2012 at 4:21 pm |
    • ghostmeat

      I'm on it.

      October 30, 2012 at 4:54 am |
  19. EON

    Those creatures are probably reporting to each other "we just discovered humans".

    October 5, 2012 at 12:43 pm |
    • Ca Ed

      Message from several of the near extinct species to the 'newly discovered' ones:
      You are so screwed!!!!!!

      October 5, 2012 at 1:14 pm |
    • Bill

      Let just hope they took a picture of one of our finer looking humans.

      October 5, 2012 at 3:46 pm |
      • Mike

        Yeah, like lady gaga 🙂

        October 7, 2012 at 10:40 am |
  20. Michael

    Cool stuff....too bad mankind will likely be logging in this area in the near future and killing all of these species.

    October 5, 2012 at 12:39 pm |
    • Unknown


      October 11, 2012 at 1:44 pm |
  21. wendellverli

    God's Glory is infinite!

    For since the creation of the world God's invisible qualities —his eternal power and divine nature —have been clearly seen, being understood from what has been made, so that people are without excuse. Romans 1.20

    October 5, 2012 at 12:15 pm |
    • aRTHURrrrr

      God creates all this for us...and yet He is so Humble about it, some people actually believe that all of this is an accident.

      October 5, 2012 at 12:29 pm |
      • Michael

        It's not an accident, it's Evolution. Believe what you want, that's your choice. Some of us prefer facts and things that can be proven.

        October 5, 2012 at 12:36 pm |
      • TruthMatters

        Michael, scientific understanding of evolution is that its an accident (specific mutations and anamolies being superior to the standard), so was the creation of the Earth, so was its placement in the right distance from the sun, as well as the existance of water, as well as the first compunds of life and life forms.

        October 5, 2012 at 12:52 pm |
      • fosho

        Proof that evolution isnt apart of Gods plan? This is the only planet ever!!! to have living species, in the whole entire universe. as if its a huge comparison to how much he loves us, and how perfect this place is. considering the many different temperatures, mixtures of chemicals, etc. life would have evolved on a planet somewhere else, near us, in the next galaxy, or even in the next three galaxies over. it hasnt. one God, one earth.

        October 6, 2012 at 4:25 pm |
      • HJ

        @FOSHO How do you know life hasn't "evolved on a planet somewhere else, near us, in the next galaxy, or even in the next three galaxies over"?? Scientists are now beginning to find that solar systems are the RULE, not the exception. Each galaxy is filled with HUNDREDS OF BILLIONS of stars and there are HUNDREDS OF BILLIONS of galaxies. There have now been around 800 planets discovered. The vast majority have been WITHIN our own galaxy and WITHING 300 light years (a puddle jump in galactic miles).

        You see... you can make this outlandish claim, because you know that life will not be discovered in your lifetime..... thus you will live your life being "right" or never proven wrong. However, think about what you're saying... especially given the numbers of stars in a galaxy and the number of galaxies in the universe.

        What we know is that evolution is a natural process. Galaxies evolve, stars evolve, solar systems evolve, planets evolve, and life evolves. We know that, not only are stars w/ planets very common, these planets are part of whole solar systems.


        October 7, 2012 at 12:01 pm |
      • Poltergiest

        You never cosidered the other option. That life is so amazingly rare that is may be a waste for humanity to spend it's brief extistence looking for it. Scientist used to think life outside of earth was impossible, now they think it's everywhere. 100 years from now, some new discovery might have them thinking life isn't as prevalent as they once thought. But until we get a warp drive or something to scope things out, it's all just Star Trek fantasies.

        October 11, 2012 at 1:29 pm |
    • Enough already

      Can we NOT drag religion and politics into EVERY thread?
      We can debate faith vs. fairytales over on the Belief blog.
      This is science, folks.

      October 5, 2012 at 12:41 pm |
      • scottaustintexas

        Exactly. Ugh.

        October 5, 2012 at 12:50 pm |
      • TruthMatters

        It's the science folks that always drag religion into it by saying this or that proves religion is wrong. Religious people respond.

        October 5, 2012 at 12:54 pm |
      • king

        @truthmatters and where exactly in the article does it say that the finding of these species disproves the existence of any diety worshiped on this planet? Where does it mention religion at all? Not at all. The whole purpose of this article was to announce the beauty still left in this world.

        October 5, 2012 at 1:24 pm |
    • Raider

      Random quotes from a fairytale book have nothing to do with this article.

      October 5, 2012 at 1:34 pm |
  22. larry

    All of these species must have jumped off of Noah's ark a bit early.

    October 5, 2012 at 11:58 am |
  23. EternalBliss

    Hmmm.. wonder what kind of incredible goodness is in those mushrooms...

    October 5, 2012 at 11:53 am |
    • aneas

      I was thinking the same thing 🙂

      October 5, 2012 at 12:39 pm |
  24. ER

    Why do people still believe in this 'evolution' thing? You just need more faith.

    October 5, 2012 at 10:48 am |
    • bdl1978

      because faith doesn't equal fact. and it never will. thank your lucky stars you have the word "faith" to make yourself feel better about being delusional.

      October 5, 2012 at 10:53 am |
      • CosmicC

        I suspect sarcasm was in use.

        October 5, 2012 at 10:59 am |
      • Believer

        ...But when your small mind stops working...trust me, you'll be believing God for a new one! Now, go FACT CHECK that!!

        October 5, 2012 at 12:42 pm |
      • student

        If scientist would study theology and religious people would study science alot of questions may be answered. Problem is that everyone wants to be right instead of finding fact they are looking for support. Blindly following another persons opinions is always the problem. Try to figure it out for yourself. Reading what a person says is not research into anything except his opinion.

        October 7, 2012 at 8:48 am |
  25. crawlfish

    God definitely dropped them off last week.

    October 5, 2012 at 10:31 am |
  26. iliab

    You’ll need a bigger boat, Noah.

    October 5, 2012 at 10:09 am |
  27. average dude

    This article didn't even mention the bioluminescent mushrooms

    October 5, 2012 at 8:53 am |
  28. Tinto

    I'm gonna start one: they are new, they recently Evolved. Is this the proof we have been looking for?

    October 5, 2012 at 8:30 am |
  29. Bunsen Honeydew

    I have discovered several new species of Doofus in these comments!

    October 5, 2012 at 7:46 am |
    • CUTIE

      lol that was funnnnyyyy!!

      October 5, 2012 at 12:22 pm |
    • Michael

      I like it! Good on ya, thank you for the laugh.

      October 5, 2012 at 12:34 pm |
    • EON

      LOL! Brilliant!

      October 5, 2012 at 12:36 pm |
    • Ca Ed

      Great discovery, now we need to catalog, analyze and describe them scientifically.

      What is the plural of Doofus? Doofi? Doofuses?

      What about the collective noun for Doofus? Journalists, Congress, Senate, DemoDoofus, DoofusReps?

      BTW, does a Doofus have DNA and how would you extract it?

      October 5, 2012 at 1:22 pm |
  30. dougaussie

    no sabretooth? tyranosaures? or terradactul? mamoths? any kingkong monkeys? I wouldn't mind seeing the blue mushroom....is it edible?

    October 5, 2012 at 5:15 am |
    • Frank

      King Kong wasn't a monkey. He was an ape.

      October 5, 2012 at 9:45 am |
      • Laugh

        Yup...that's what she said too, "Once you go ape, you can't escape."

        October 5, 2012 at 10:01 am |
  31. 2/8

    Ummmm....just because the scientific community just found out about them now doesn't mean they're "new". What is it with these guys who think nothing exists until they can get it on paper.

    October 5, 2012 at 2:23 am |
    • Primewonk

      Ummm... That's not what science says. These are newly discovered, meaning we hadn't seen them before. It does not mean they are new species.

      October 5, 2012 at 8:30 am |
  32. A Random Guy

    That spider looks terrifying!!!

    October 4, 2012 at 11:39 pm |
    • CosmicC

      While it does look nasty and there's no scale, I'm thinking it's pretty small, may be a half inch or less.

      October 5, 2012 at 11:05 am |
      • EON

        It is those pincher's that have me more concerned.

        October 5, 2012 at 12:37 pm |
  33. Mark

    frogs, spiders and mushrooms... just great ;(

    October 4, 2012 at 11:34 pm |
  34. Brolle

    These are not new species..The locals new they existed for years. Might be new to western scientists!!

    October 4, 2012 at 9:47 pm |
    • S Kyle

      It only matters if the West knows about it... duh.

      October 4, 2012 at 11:11 pm |
    • Rudy

      new and Knew are two different things please use proper grammar

      October 5, 2012 at 8:04 am |
    • Greg

      Columbus discovered America. It wasn't there until... wait... there were people there already and... the Vikings and wait... Africans? What the fudge is going on here?

      October 5, 2012 at 8:32 am |
    • Tom, Tom, the Piper's Son

      They are new to science. It has nothing to do with being from the “west” you ignorant tools.

      October 5, 2012 at 9:25 am |
    • Poltergiest

      You mean new to western scientist. Science is an intellectual activity that anyone can engage in, including mountain folk.

      October 14, 2012 at 7:41 pm |
  35. arachnophobia

    GREAT! Even MORE spiders!

    October 4, 2012 at 9:45 pm |
  36. Piranha

    Creepy , makes my skin clawls. That blue mushroom looks familiar, is it a relative of the blue dot. Good sh^t.

    October 4, 2012 at 9:39 pm |
  37. Colin

    Beautiful and fantastic. Praise to G-d

    October 4, 2012 at 8:24 pm |
    • God

      General Dynamics?

      October 4, 2012 at 10:38 pm |
      • shrinktofit

        No... General dynamics

        October 4, 2012 at 11:47 pm |
    • saggyroy

      Noah doesn't mention these on the ark.

      October 5, 2012 at 6:38 am |
  38. André Kruger

    "there are also new beetles and snails on the creature list and ferns on the plant list".. do these scientists not consider plants to be creatures also?

    October 4, 2012 at 7:04 pm |
    • SixDegrees

      No one does.

      October 5, 2012 at 2:40 am |
  39. Ian

    I'm sure that all the new species discovered are smarter than the people who have posted comments so far 🙂

    October 4, 2012 at 5:37 pm |
    • Jan

      Thank you! Thank you for putting it out there!

      October 4, 2012 at 6:25 pm |
    • shrinktofit

      Including yours, I presume.

      October 4, 2012 at 11:48 pm |
  40. andrew

    there is many frogs that look like that

    October 4, 2012 at 5:08 pm |
  41. andrew

    who knew that more animals and plants would show up with all of the hunting and war

    October 4, 2012 at 5:04 pm |
    • shrinktofit

      The Great Borneo War? Never heard of it.

      October 4, 2012 at 11:49 pm |
  42. Garamasala

    fuuuck Israel

    October 4, 2012 at 3:07 pm |
  43. wow

    That butterfly looks like meat

    October 4, 2012 at 2:46 pm |
    • andrew

      its not a butterfly its a moth read the capsion

      October 4, 2012 at 5:05 pm |
      • wow

        moths are just low fat butter-flies. should be called margarineflies

        October 5, 2012 at 12:43 pm |
    • citizenUSA

      Inspired by Lady Gaga.

      October 5, 2012 at 10:19 am |
  44. The Woof

    There will be no way ever that man will fin dout everything that has been created by a source more powerful to even comprehend.

    October 4, 2012 at 2:21 pm |
    • God

      I created Evolution and saw that it was good...

      October 4, 2012 at 10:36 pm |
    • Earthling

      English, please.

      October 4, 2012 at 10:50 pm |
    • bdl1978

      and what source would that be? your god or a more powerful source according to the other countless religions in the world? your faith is strong, but my hindu friend has a stronger faith so therefore by your logic the possibility of his god exiting is just more plausible than yours? silly sheeple

      October 5, 2012 at 10:55 am |
      • aneas

        I think they have already exited.

        October 5, 2012 at 12:44 pm |
  45. Michael

    Mount Kinabalu is on the island of Borneo, not the Malay Peninsula!

    October 4, 2012 at 12:53 pm |
    • orangutan

      article doesn't say Malay peninsular, it is right saying Malay archipelago, which includes Indonesia as well

      October 4, 2012 at 7:05 pm |
    • Antonio


      Sounds like you've been to Borneo! Many people don't know where Borneo is, except for the older generation who've been in the war and were stationed in the Asia (or SE Asia). I've been there, climbed the mountain....beautiful place. But I don't remember seeing any of the plants and animals described.

      October 4, 2012 at 10:18 pm |
      • Legolas

        Antonio, you're right. But I don't think you've been to war lately.

        October 7, 2012 at 9:54 pm |


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