Hundreds of new species discovered in Amazon rainforest

An adorable monkey that purrs like a cat is just one of many new species recently discovered in a remote section of the Amazon rainforest.

A group of scientists, with the help of World Wildlife Fund, have spent more than four years in what's considered an under-explored rainforest, discovering as many as 441 new species of plants and animals during their studies.

The study yielded discoveries of 258 new species of plants, 84 fish, 22 reptiles, and 18 birds. Have a look at a few of the species discovered below, or click here to peruse the complete list.

Photos and captions from WWF.

Callicebus caquetensis – Colombia | This new species, Callicebus caquetensis, is one of about 20 species of titi monkey, which all live in the Amazon basin. The babies have an endearing trait, “When they feel very content they purr towards each other,” explained scientist Thomas Defler. Photo credit: Thomas Defler.

Allobates amissibilis - Guyana | This amphibian is already believed to be highly endangered. In fact, its Latin name, Allobates amissibilis, meaning “that may be lost,” alludes to this, as the area where it thrives could soon be opened to tourism. Photo credit: Philippe Kok.

Passiflora longifilamentosa –Brazil | A new species of passion flower was discovered in the rain forests of the Brazilian state of Para in 2013. Together with vivid purple petals, the new species displays fantastic and quirky 'noodles' or 'spaghetti' (corona filaments) that burst out of the flower's centre. Photo credit: Joao Batista Fernandes da Silva.

Tometes camunani – Brazil | This new species of piranha, Tometes camunani, can span 20 inches wide and weigh up to 9 pounds, and is strictly herbivorous. The freshwater fish inhabits rocky rapids associated with seedlings of plants that grow among the rocks, its main source of food. Photo credit: Tomasso Giarrizzo.

Chironius challenger – Guyana and Venezuela | Found in the mountains of Guyana, at elevation of 4,922 ft., this brightly-colored snake species was named Chironius challenger after Arthur C. Doyle's fictional character Professor George Edward Challenger in the novel The Lost World. Photo credit: Philippe Kok.

Gonatodes timidus - Guyana | This extraordinary-looking species of lizard was discovered in 2011 in the part of the Amazon that extends into Guyana. The surface of the lizard’s head is black with bluish white to vivid yellow irregular stripes and blotches. Despite this ‘warpaint,’ the name given to the species derives from the Latin word timidus meaning “shy” or “fearful”. Photo credit: Philippe Kok.

Dicrossus warzeli - Brazil | The species is named after Frank Martin Warzel, a skilled German aquarist who first imported the species from the Rio Tapajos to Germany, as well as observed its behaviour, including reproduction in the field in Brazil and Colombia. Photo credit: Frank Warzel.

Sobralia imavieirae – Brazil | Among the new plant species are a large number of new orchid species, including this splendid pink species, Sobralia imavieirae, officially described by scientists from Roraima in the Brazilian Amazon. Photo credit: Andre Cardoso.

Apistogramma cinilabra - Peru. Photo credit: Uwe Rimer.

Cercosaura hypnoides – Colombia | This beautiful lizard was found from the hatchlings of eggs collected by scientists in the Colombian Amazon. An elusive species, Cercosaura hypnoides, has not been seen in the wild since the original eggs were collected, raising the prospect that it could potentially be endangered. Photo credit: Tiffany M. Doan.

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