©National Geographic

Mammal expert Martua Sinaga holds a 3-pound (1.4-kilogram) rat that may be a species new to science. The rat was found in the remote Foja Mountains of western New Guinea, Indonesia, on a June 2007 expedition, experts announced yesterday.

Researchers from Conservation International and the Indonesia Institute of Science had previously discovered several new species of plants and animals during a trip to the pristine rain forest region in 2005.

When the team returned to the Fojas this summer, they found the rat along with a pygmy possum that could also be a previously unrecorded species.

"The giant rat is about five times the size of a typical city rat," Kristofer Helgen, a scientist with the Smithsonian Institution in Washington, D.C., said in a press statement. "With no fear of humans, it apparently came into the camp several times during the trip."

©National Geographic

A pygmy possum of the genus Cercartetus was found this June in Indonesia's pristine Foja Mountains and could be a species new to science.

Experts with Conservation International described the mini-mammal as one of the world's smallest marsupials.

A previous expedition to the Fojas in 2005 had revealed for the first time that a rare forest marsupial, the golden-mantled tree kangaroo, made its home in the same remote region on the island of New Guinea. The kangaroo was among dozens of species of plants and animals discovered during that trip.

©National Geographic

An ornate fruit-dove was among several exotic birds observed high in the Foja Mountains of western New Guinea, Indonesia, in June 2007.

A team that included National Geographic photographer Tim Laman and a film crew from CBS News recently accompanied U.S. and Indonesian scientists on an expedition into the remote mountain range.

The team captured some of the first film footage of the birds from the Fojas' interior, an untracked 740,000-acre (300,000-hectare) region that has remained relatively untouched by humans.

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A male golden-fronted bowerbird holds a bright blue berry in its beak as part of a courtship ritual - just one of the unusual birds seen on the Indonesian island of New Guinea during a June 2007 expedition.

Bowerbirds are best known for attracting females by building towers of twigs and other forest materials, with some species depositing a variety of "gifts" inside. The rare Foja bird's mating moves were first photographed in 2006.

The June trip, led by Conservation International, captured on tape the bird's full courtship display for the first time.

©National Geographic

The wattled smoky honeyeater, a species found only in the Foja Mountains of Indonesia, was officially named as a new species after an expedition to the remote region in June 2007.

Experts with Conservation International had first discovered the bird, along with dozens of other unusual species, on a 2005 trip to the Fojas.

"It's comforting to know that there is a place on Earth so isolated that it remains the absolute realm of wild nature," said expedition leader and CI vice president Bruce Beehler in a press statement.

"We were pleased to see that this little piece of Eden remains as pristine and enchanting as it was when we first visited."