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Breathless diversity

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AP Photo/David Bickford

(Read caption) Barbourula kalimantanensis, first spotted last year in Kalimantan, Indonesia, has no lungs and breathes through its skin.

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The Associated Press, along with many other outlets, reports the discovery of a lungless frog in the wilds of Borneo. And of course this poor critter, the only lungless frog known to science, is being driven to extinction by illegal logging and gold mining.

Last year, the esteemed biologist Edward O. Wilson wrote that probably 90 percent of all living species remain undiscovered. Just once, I'd like to see a biologist discover one that isn't in the slightest bit threatened by environmental degradation.

Walt Disney summed up life's astounding diversity in an uplifting quote I came across on Treehugger today.

"Landscapes of great wonder and beauty lie under our feet and all around us. They are discovered in tunnels in the ground, the heart of flowers, the hollows of trees, fresh-water ponds, seaweed jungles between tides, and even drops of water.
Life in these hidden worlds is more startling in reality than anything we can imagine. How could this earth of ours, which is only a speck in the heavens, have so much variety of life, so many curious and exciting creatures?"

I look forward to the day they let Walt out of cryogenic storage so he can continue to inspire us.

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