A little mammal (a mouse) reportedly new to science, two new species of insects and a rare wetland plant were discovered in recent years on the isolated mountains of Peru, announced scientists with the nonprofit Conservation International on Thursday.
These expeditions, conducted between 2005 and 2008 in Peru’s Cordillera Blanca, or White Range, uncovered the those species, with this little recently bathed mouse as the unquestionable star of the group.
The newfound mouse is a member of the Akodon genus, which includes many South American field mice. Found at elevations between 9,449 feet (2,880 meters) and 15,528 feet (4,733 meters) above sea level, the new mouse is unique to some of the world’s highest forests.
The roughly 3.5-inch-long (8.8-centimeter-long) mouse primarily eats insects and seeds, making it a vital player in the region’s ecosystem, researchers say.