Scientists excavating a lost city shrouded in legend in the jungles of Honduras have found many rare and threatened animals - including animals thought to be extinct.
Travelers and locals had shared legends of the Lost City of the Monkey God - where a God is said to have fathered half-human, half-monkey children.
The so-called ‘City of the Monkey God’ was supposedly sighted by explorer Theodor Morde in 1940 - but he never revealed its precise location, and later committed suicide.
Biologists visited the ‘City’ after it was uncovered by a 2015 expedition - and found many unusual animals including a pale-faced bat (Phylloderma stenops) which had not been seen in Honduras for 75 years.
Biiologist Trond Larsen from Conservation International said, ‘What we found is extremely high biodiversity in the context of Central America, including many rare and threatened species as well as new country records.
‘All of this indicates that the area is an intact wilderness that needs to be preserved to maintain the integrity of ecological corridors across Central America.’
Larsen and his team catalogued 180 species of plants, 250 insect species and 198 bird species, Science Alert reports.
The team found many rare and endangered animals, along with species never seen before in Honduras, or thought to be extinct.
Morde was told by Honduran Indians that the city’s Monkey God had fathered half-human children in the jungle.
A 2015 expedition into the area found ancient ruins, and a scientific study in 2017 used LIDAR to identify what appears to be an ancient city.
Read more from Yahoo News UK:
Explorers used a Cessna Skymaster plane and laser imaging equipment to pinpoint the city, before beginning their dig.
Researchers have found 52 sculptures at the sites, including what is described as a ‘were-jaguar’, a half-human, half-animal figure.