Ancient Creatures in a Lost World

In an isolated, rugged region that divides Vietnam and Laos, scientists find a trove of new species

From his first day in Vu Quang, a reserve that lies on the mountainous divide separating Vietnam from Laos, biologist John MacKinnon realized that he had entered an extraordinary, almost magical domain. Working out of a small army base that in earlier years had housed North Vietnamese troops, MacKinnon and a team of Vietnamese researchers set out in May 1992 on an expedition sponsored by the World Wildlife Fund. Their mission: to survey the animals in a mysterious area of moist, dense forest largely unexplored by scientists.

Returning from his first hike in the forest, MacKinnon encountered zoologist Do Tuoc, who...

Want the full story?

Subscribe Now

Subscribe
Subscribe

Get TIME the way you want it

  • One Week Digital Pass — $4.99
  • Monthly Pay-As-You-Go DIGITAL ACCESS$2.99
  • One Year ALL ACCESSJust $30!   Best Deal!
    Print Magazine + Digital Edition + Subscriber-only Content on TIME.com

Learn more about the benefits of being a TIME subscriber

If you are already a subscriber sign up — registration is free!