Friday, May 24, 2013

Top 10 New Species of 2012 - including the popular Walking Leg Sausage

Every year, Arizona State University's International Station for Species Exploration makes a list of the 10 most interesting new species found that year. This year, we've got some interesting ones:

  1. A yellow poppy (Meconopsis autumnalis) that grows at elevations between 10,827ft and 13,780ft in the Himalayan mountains (photo above)
  2. The first ever discovered Night-blooming Orchid (Bulbophyllum nocturnum) from Papua New Guinea
  3. A mushroom which smells fruity and looks like a sponge which scientists aptly named Spongebob Squarepants Mushroom (Spongiforma squarepantsii). Haha, WHAT? The name which was originally rejected by taxonomists, but was reluctantly accepted because it attracted attention and awareness to this new species) from Malaysia
  4. A snubnosed monkey from Myanmar called the Sneezing Monkey (Rhinopithecus strykeri) because it sneezes when it rains - how cute!
  5. The Bonaire Banded Box Jelly (Tamoya ohboya) found in the Dutch Caribbean island of Bonaire, was named this way because a high school biology teacher imagined that "Oh Boy!!" must be the first reaction to it and it's venomous sting. (read more to see the picture)
  6. A nemotode named the Devil's Worm (Halicephalobus mephisto). Why such a scathing name? This nematode is the deepest-living terrestrial multicellular organism found on Earth. It was found 1.3km deep into the Earth's crust in a gold mine in South Africa. The nematodes live in beautiful little glass beads.
  7. A new wasp (Kollasmosoma sentum) which dive bombs ants (Cataglyphis ibericus) in Spain, lays its eggs in the ant where its larvae will grow and kill the ant. Its stealth attack takes only a fraction of a second. Come see the video.
  8. A millipede with the endearing name of Wandering Leg Sausage (Crurifarcimen vagans) found in Tanzania
  9. A fossil of an lobopodian/arthropod now known as the Walking Cactus (Diania cactiformis) found in ancient fossil deposits estimated at over 520 million years old.
  10. And a beautiful iridescent blue spider called a Sazima's Tarantula (Pterinopelma sazimai) found in Brazil.

Bonaire Banded Box Jelly

If you are interested to see and read more about fun new species discoveries, come check out the top 10 lists all the way back to 2008 from the ASU International Institute for Species Exploration.

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