“Extinct” animals remain on earth

On an expedition, a team from the University of Oxford found what they thought was an extinct animal. From the difficult terrain in a remote part of Indonesia, the animal can now be seen on film. Previously, only one preserved specimen existed to prove that it still lives on Earth.

When a team from the University of Oxford was on an expedition in a remote part of Indonesia, something unusual was found.

A species of porcupine – a species thought to be extinct for six decades. The animal is called Zaglossus attenboroughi, named after David Attenborough, and was last seen in 1961.

– The discovery is the result of hard work and more than three years of planning, says James Kempton, a biologist at the University of Oxford, who also led the expedition.

Help from local people

This nocturnal and shy species is the last of an ancient lineage – which separated from the rest of the mammalian tree of life about 200 million years ago.

The Oxford team was helped by the Indonesian locals to navigate difficult terrain on their expedition. They also gained access to areas considered sacred. In the terrain, you can now see visual evidence that the “extinct” animal is still alive.

A preserved specimen of the animal is in the Netherlands Museum of Natural History, the only evidence so far that the animal remains on earth.