Top 10 New Species for 2012

Friday, 25 May 2012 0 comments

1. A sneezing monkey, a blue tarantula and an orchid that only blooms at night are included in the latest top 10 list of new species chosen by scientists. They were among 200 nominated animals and plants described for the first time last year. The list is published each year by the International Institute for Species Exploration at Arizona State University in the US.

2. The sneezing monkey, Rhinopithecus strykeri, was found by scientists conducting a gibbon survey in the high mountains of Burma. The critically endangered snub-nosed monkey has a distinctive white beard and sneezes when it rains.

3. Sazima’s tarantula is a striking, iridescent blue hairy spider from South America. Pterinopeima sazimai inhabits tabletop mountains in a remote part of eastern Brazil.

4. The Devil’s worm is one of the weirdest. Measuring just half a millimetre, it was found at a depth of 1.3 kilometres, or 0.8 of a mile, in a South African gold mine where temperatures reach 37C. The worm is the deepest living multicellular terrestrial organism on Earth. It was named Halicephalobus mephisto after Mephistopheles, the demon in the Faust legend.

5. The night-blooming orchid, named Bulbophyllum nocturnum, by scientists from the Royal Botanic Gardens at Kew, was discovered in Papua New Guinea. Its flowers open at around 10pm and close early the next morning.

6. The Bonaire banded box jelly is a colourful and venomous jellyfish found near the Dutch Caribbean island of Bonaire. Its scientific name, Tamoya ohboya, was chosen because of an assumption that anyone stung by the creature is likely to exclaim oh boy!

7. A small attack wasp (Kollasmosoma sentum) injects its eggs into ants, so that its larvae develop inside the ants’ bodies

8. The Spongebob Squarepants Mushroom (Spongiforma squarepantsii) named after the cartoon character, was found growing on the ground in Lambir Hills National Park (Sarawak State, Malaysia), northern Borneo

9. A fossil of a Walking Cactus – an extinct creature with jointed legs

10. A giant Millipede (Crurifarcimen vagans) – a millipede that’s so big it looks like a sausage.

11. Nepalese poppy (Meconopsis autumnalis) – a yellow poppy that blooms in the autumn monsoon season and can only be reached by hiking miles into the Himalayan wilderness.



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