Brazilian researchers discover 12 new species of animals in the Amazon

Brazilian researchers discovered 12 new species of animals in the Amazon, the largest forest in the world, in two expeditions that were used to analyze more than 1,700 specimens of more than 200 species of animals and plants.

According to state agency Agencia Brasil, the 12 new species are toads and lizards, as well as an owl.

All of them were identified in two expeditions, one carried out at the end of last year and the other between April and May of this year, financed by the Research Support Foundation of the State of Sao Paulo (Fapesp, for its acronym in Portuguese).

As explained by the zoologist of the University of Sao Paulo (USP) and leader of the expeditions, Miguel Trefaut Rodrigues, the objective was "to study the influence of the waters of the Rio Branco on the diversity and abundance of species".

The Rio Branco is an Amazonian river in Brazil and the main tributary of the northern margin of the Río Negro, which runs entirely through the northern state of Roraima, bordering Venezuela and Guyana.

The expedition also collected data to study the influence of the Río Negro as a barrier to the transit of species.

"For this reason we collected on both sides," added Trefaut Rodrigues, who said that the Rio Negro (the largest of all tributaries of the Amazon River and the largest blackwater in the world) does not have many species of animals to have very acidic.

The expedition also aimed to understand the origin of lizards of the genus Loxopholis that reproduce asexually and that has several species formed only by females.

The material obtained will be used to analyze the evolutionary patterns of the fauna of South America.

"Several groups of animals are being studied from a genetic, morphological and physiological point of view, and some of these studies will help understand the extinction risk of these species if the temperature rises in the next few years," he said.

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