David Attenborough has thrown himself into the pool and on the occasion of the premiere of a new documentary on wildlife that opens this week at the BBC, has selected 10 species that he said should be saved from extinction:
Of these small animals there are only a thousand copies left in the world. In 1970, when it was thought extinct, a small population of these monkeys was discovered in a jungle near São Paulo in Brazil.
2. The rhinoceros of SumatraMore news: The Project Gutenberg eBook of Cantos de vida y esperanza, by Rubén Darío.
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Of the five species of rhinoceros that exist in the world this is the most threatened. There remain about 200 copies.
3. The almiquí of Hispaniola
Direct descendant of the first mammals that populated the Earth. Attenborough says that "if we lost these creatures, we would not see anything like them on Earth."
It is adapted to live in total darkness and can survive up to ten years without food. "In Croatia," says Attenborouh, "they were believed to be dragon-babies." They live up to 100 years.
5. This unique bird lives in the Peruvian Andes and is among the most threatened species in the world.
The male has two long feathers in the tail that move independently to attract his partner.
6. Darwin's frog
Discovered by Charles Darwin in Chile in 1834. "It's a very interesting frog because the male gives birth to the young. And he does it by the mouth. Bring the eggs into the buccal sac until they grow into tadpoles.
7. The Malayan pangolin
This strange animal lives in the jungles of Southeast Asia and is endangered by human hunting. "It's one of the most threatened animals I've ever known," says Attenborough. "In the last fifteen years, almost half the population of pangolines has disappeared."
8. Ornithoptera bird wings
This Australian marsupial (Dasyurus hallucatus) is on the brink of extinction by introducing the cane toad into its habitat. The poison of these animals has caused the disappearance of half the population in ten years.
10. Watering the Philippines
This rare marine sponge known as Euplectella aspergillum lives in Asia and builds its body with silicon. "This complex glass structure is a marvel of design," says the British publisher. "The odd thing is that this sponge builds its glass structure and does not need an oven like the ones used by human glass panels."