Monday, April 22, 2024 | 07:19 WIB

Researchers Find a ‘Lost World’ in Sumba

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Jakarta, IO – Indonesia apparently has a region called the ‘lost world’. That area is Sumba, East Nusa Tenggara which is home to various animals, most of which became extinct thousands of years ago. These animals are mini elephants, mice, giant lizards, and even Komodo dragon.

This was based on the results of research published in the journal “Proceedings of the Royal Society B”. It reports the discovery of various fossils of these animals that lived on Sumba around 12,000 years ago, per CNBC Indonesia, Fri (15/3).

The research also states that it is possible that some of these rare animals first lived in the Sumba region. This is confirmed by the discovery of Komodo dragon fossils which is native to Komodo Island, Flores.

A research team from the Zoological Society of London (ZSL) carried out an expedition to research these extinct animals from 2011 to 2014. They collected fossils from Sumba, which is part of Wallacea region, named by biologist Alfred Russel Wallace. He is the first figure to establish regional boundaries based on the distribution of animal species in Indonesia in the 19th century.

Apart from Sumba, Wallacea region includes Sulawesi, Lombok, Flores, Halmahera, Buru, and Seram. The popularity of research related to Wallacea region reached its zenith in 2004, when an archaeological group exhibited Homo Floresiensis fossils found on Flores, the northern part of Sumba. However, research on Sumba itself is still very rare.

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“Perhaps because there are too many islands in Indonesia to study. It is still rare for biologists or paleontologists to focus on diverse areas in Indonesia,” said Samuel Turvey, research member at ZSL.

“Discoveries in this area could open up amazing insights into lost worlds. There are many animals that evolved on the isolated islands in Wallacea region but then became extinct with the emergence of modern human civilization,” he posited. (bp)

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