Presentation on theme: "The Discovery of Tigerfly Presented By Mr. O’Brien Senior Research Scientist."— Presentation transcript:
The Discovery of Tigerfly Presented By Mr. O’Brien Senior Research Scientist
G reetings fellow colleagues and friends. Today I share with you great excitement about an experience and discovery that has left others and me with questions and possibilities. The news I share with you presents challenges for many scientific communities. What we found remains to be studied and understood. Two months ago my research team embarked on an ambitious project in Brazil. We went there to collect rare plant samples. These samples are used in research to develop new pharmaceuticals for the prevention of illness and disease. Our research is a continuation of previous expeditions that led us to new questions and ideas for study. The University of Washington Medical Research Department sent us there with financial support from CDC (Center For Disease Control). Our work is part of an ongoing project that can provide insight to early treatment of muscular diseases.
The area we centered our research is located in Jau National Park, Amazonas State, in Brazil. The tropical forests of this area are rich and diverse with flora and fauna. There are many waterways that connect to the Amazon River with multiple tributaries. We were located on the northern side of the Jau River that feeds into the Amazon River. Here is a map and aerial view of our location.
On August 10 th, 2011 at 7:30 AM, I was collecting plant samples approximately 1 mile northeast of my research camp. This is an area I previously harvested samples from. The weather was hot and humid. Visibility was excellent in the lower canopy. While working I heard a buzz near my head, thinking it was an insect. However it was an unfamiliar sound. It was unlike anything I heard before. I also noticed a strange smell that was sweet and distinctive. At first I thought it was flowers but could not match what I smelled with what was around me. I noticed something darting near my head and flying away.
I heard a high-pitched growl that came in short bursts. I looked up and saw a creature that resembled a dragonfly. It had two large wings, a long body and was remarkably maneuverable in flight. It was approximately 7 inches long, colorful with predominately orange and black markings. Its movement was quick and hard to visually track. It seemed curious about me as much as I was with it. This winged creature continued to fly towards me, hover briefly and then fly away. Only to reappear a moment later repeating this behavior. Each time it reappeared, it would fly closer and circle my head. As it got closer I could hear a high pitch growl distinctively different than the flapping of its wings. It also produced a sweet smell when it was closer that would linger in the air. This was the same smell I noticed earlier when I collected plant samples. I noticed as it got closer the head on its body looked like a tiger. I was stunned and excited by this. I did not feel threatened by its presence. But it seemed most curious about me and did not seem fearful. My observation of its flight near me lasted for about 6 minutes. It seemed like forever.
Animal:Tigerfly Location:Jau National Park, Brazil Photographer:Senior Research Scientist Mr. O’Brien Note:This is the only recorded photograph of this animal to date
I reached in my backpack to get my camera. I recall how frustrated I was that I did not have a camcorder with me. I knew getting visual evidence of this was important and a break through. I was excited to try and find opportunity to catch a clear picture of this new discovery and animal. At one point it landed on the end of a small branch and I snapped a picture. This was the only time it landed on something and was still for a moment. Even as it held its position on the branch, it continued to beat its wings as if it was hovering. It used the wings to create a balance point and maintain stability. After I took the picture, the animal rapidly lifted off the branch and flew into the canopy. It did not see it reappear. I checked playback on my camera was thrilled to see I captured a clear picture. This discovery was remarkable and created many questions to be researched. Clearly this regional area needs to be protected and examined. The potential for new scientific break through and evidence is untapped. I urge and strongly recommend The National Geographic Society immediately commission a panel of experts to decide what steps need to take place. Ensuring the continuation of research will help the world understand more about this discovery and other new learning.
I present to you this evidence and call this new animal: Tigerfly Thank you for your interest and support. I hope we continue to research this area and unfold new discoveries that lead to benefits for our planet and populations.