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December 6, 2005

mystery critters, world power mashups

some kinda critter from BorneoOooh, I love newly discovered critters! Especially when biologists capture photographs of them with spooky reflecting eyes - making them even more mysterious. More text on the creature below in the extended entry, or follow this news link here.

This week my buddies Kenn Brown + Chris Wrenn from Monolithic Studios in Vancouver present us with some world power mashups done recently for Maxim Magazines World Power feature. They have envisioned the sort of monuments one might create while playing Civilization IV. What if the Wonders of the World were created by cultures other than the ones who accomplished them in our known history? Like the discovery of the Ancient St. Louis arch in the jungles of Indonesia, The Statue Aalyiah Latifah al Liberty standing in the Persian Gulf, The Forbidden White Palace in Beijing, or my favorite: Ganesha, Emancipator of Slaves, His Most Respectful Lord of Intellect and Wisdom. Their illustrations ask: what would things be like today if things had gone differently yesterday?

Mystery Carnivore Possibly Discovered in Borneo

GENEVA (Dec. 6) - Environmental researchers are preparing to capture what they call a new, mysterious species of carnivore on Borneo, the first such discovery on the wildlife-rich Indonesian island in over a century.

Swiss-based environmental group WWF said on Monday its researchers photographed the strange animal, which looks like a cross between a cat and a fox, in the dense, central mountainous rainforests of Borneo.

''This could be the first time in more than a century that a new carnivore has been discovered on the island,'' said the WWF in a statement.

The mammal, slightly larger than a cat with red fur and a long tail, was photographed twice by a camera trap at night.

Locals and wildlife experts who viewed photographs of the animal, which has very small ears and large hind legs, said they had never seen such a creature before and were convinced that it was a new species, WWF said.

Researchers hope to confirm the discovery by setting cage traps to catch a live specimen, but warn that Indonesian government plans to clear the rainforest to create the world's largest palm oil plantation may interfere with plans, WWF said. The proposed plantation scheme, funded by the China Development Bank, is expected to cover an area of 1.8 million hectares, equivalent to about half the size of The Netherlands, said the WWF, formerly known as the World Wide Fund for Nature.

The potential new species of carnivore in Borneo would be the first since the discovery of the Borneo ferret-badger in 1895, the WWF said.

Pictures of the animal were first taken by WWF researchers in 2003, the photos kept unpublished by the WWF as research continued. The WWF decided to make public the photos with the release of a book about Borneo, to be published on Tuesday.

Posted by jimbo at December 6, 2005 3:59 PM


So in your picture of Kenn and Chris, why does it look like the guy on your right is touching you inappropriately? Honestly i'm not one to talk since my pictures tend to come out like I'm a shambling hulk or something but that one looks like a poster book uncomfortable pose. Or was it just unexpected?

Posted by: tim at December 6, 2005 4:50 PM

Cool! New mammals and fun with simulation games! This has been a big year for new fauna -- first the live sighting of the giant squid, and now a new not-lemur. Very interesting indeed -- perhaps environmental pressures are making previously reclusive species more likely to be observed? Can Sasquatch be far behind?

The "what-if" genre is really very interesting. I just finished reading Kim Stanley Robinson's "Years of Rice and Salt" which postulated a world in which the Black Plague killed 90% of Europeans. So it's easy to imagine your friend's visual mash-ups.

Posted by: scory at December 6, 2005 5:24 PM

They have also found several new primate species in the last year. I get really excited by this, I suppose because I'd like to think that there are lots of unexplored places out there.

Posted by: homer at December 6, 2005 9:48 PM

Hey Jimbo, you might be interested in looking up information regarding Crypto-Zoology. Its interesting stuff

Posted by: Dax at December 6, 2005 10:03 PM

At first glance of your critter picture, I missed the eyes and took the tail to be a dinosaur's long neck.

Posted by: First mom at December 6, 2005 11:17 PM

Who gives a shit...where's the snakehead guy?

Posted by: 207guy at December 7, 2005 12:08 AM