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British team discovers lost Eden amid forgotten forest of Africa

December 22, 2008
clipped from www.guardian.co.uk

It was one of the few places on the planet that remained unmapped and unexplored, but now Mount Mabu has started to yield its secrets to the world.

clipped from www.guardian.co.uk

Mount Mabu
clipped from www.guardian.co.uk

Until a few years ago this giant forest in the mountainous north of Mozambique was known only to local villagers; it did not feature on maps nor, it is believed, in scientific collections or literature. But after “finding” the forest on a Google Earth internet map, a British-led team of scientists has returned from what is thought to be the first full-scale expedition into the canopy. Below the trees, which rise 45m above the ground, they discovered land filled with astonishingly rich biodiversity.

clipped from www.guardian.co.uk

Mount Mabu

Papilio ophidicephalus, the emperor swallowtail butterfly

clipped from www.guardian.co.uk

Mount Mabu

Pygmy chameleon (Rhampholeon sp.)

clipped from www.guardian.co.uk

Mount Mabu
clipped from www.guardian.co.uk

The scientists found what they believe are three new species of butterfly, a previously undiscovered adder snake and new populations of rare birds. They also expect to find new plants among the hundreds of specimens they have brought back with them.

clipped from www.guardian.co.uk

Mount Mabu
clipped from www.guardian.co.uk

Mount Mabu
clipped from www.guardian.co.uk

Mount Mabu
clipped from www.guardian.co.uk

Mount Mabu
clipped from www.guardian.co.uk

Mount Mabu
clipped from www.guardian.co.uk

Mount Mabu
clipped from www.guardian.co.uk

Mount Mabu
clipped from www.guardian.co.uk

Mount Mabu
clipped from www.guardian.co.uk

Mount Mabu
clipped from www.guardian.co.uk

Mount Mabu
clipped from www.guardian.co.uk

Mount Mabu
clipped from www.guardian.co.uk

Mount Mabu
clipped from www.guardian.co.uk

Mount Mabu
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