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Endangered Animals Theme Unit
A Lost World Found



A Lost World Found

A Short Reader

Reading Level
     edHelper's suggested reading level:   grades 7 to 9
     Flesch-Kincaid grade level:   8.64

Vocabulary
     challenging words:    golden-mantled, micro-caverns, long-beaked, crisis, primitive, paradise, unknown, literally, among, nearly, echidna, reefs, process, egg-laying, million, several
     content words:    Australian Institute, Marine Science, Australian Outback, Foja Mountains


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A Lost World Found
By Joyce Furstenau
  

1     At a time when many of Earth's plant and animal species are in crisis, groups of new species have been discovered in both Australia and Indonesia. Scientists went to the reefs of Australia to count the different species there. They were surprised to find several new ones. A scientist from the Australian Institute of Marine Science says, "There are literally hundreds and hundreds of new species that no one has ever collected or described." Scientists found about 130 new species of soft corals and several crustaceans in the Australian waters.
 
2     Another group of Australian scientists also found 850 previously unknown species living in underwater caves and micro-caverns in the Australian Outback in 2009. Most of the new species are insects, worms, spiders, and crustaceans. Most are also blind, and many have no eyes at all. They are also pale because they have been living their entire lives without exposure to light. Two species of blind fish and two species of blind eels were also found.
 
3     Scientists also discovered what they called a "lost world" in the Foja Mountains of Indonesia in December of 2005. More than two million acres of old growth tropical forest that had never been explored was found there. Among the species found in these mountains was the golden-mantled tree kangaroo. It had never been seen in Indonesia. Also found was a primitive, egg-laying mammal once thought to be extinct. It is called the long-beaked echidna.

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Endangered Animals Theme Unit
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