Newly Discovered: Previously Unknown Animal Species (Not Alleged Cryptids Or Species Believed Extinct)

ramonmercado

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Duck! It's a new flying squirrel.

There are 52 species of flying squirrels in the world.

The little nocturnal omnivores inhabit most of Earth's forests, including those along eastern North America. But even under the best of circumstances catching a glimpse of the creatures, which use specialized flaps of skin to glide from tree to tree, is difficult. In fact, the animals are so hard to observe, scientists are still finding new ones. The most recent, Biswamoyopterus gaoligongensis, or the Mount Gaoligong flying squirrel, was recently found in the forests of Yunnan Province in Southwest China and described in the journal ZooKeys.

According to a press release, flying squirrels in the genus Biswamoyopterus are the rarest and most mysterious. The first species in the group, the Namdapha flying squirrel, was described in 1981 and is known from only a single specimen collected in India's Namdapha National Park. It has not been seen since. The Laotian flying squirrel was found only in 2013, also from a single creature—one being sold as part of the bushmeat trade. Both animals are pretty large for squirrels, weighing in between 3 and 4 pounds.

So Quan Li of the Kunming Institute of Zoology at the Chinese Academy of Sciences was surprised last year when he came across a Biswamoyopterus squirrel in the Academy’s collection. At first, he believed it was a rare second specimen of the Namdapha squirrel. But closer examination revealed it was quite different. Not only was its coloration dissimilar, but its teeth and other details of its anatomy were distinguishable from the other two species.

https://www.smithsonianmag.com/smar...t-flying-squirrel-discovered-china-180972693/
 

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Giant Squid And Glow-In-The-Dark Sharks Captured By Researchers Off New Zealand

Source: IFLSCIENCE!
Date: 18 February, 2020

If you’re going to find strange creatures of the deep it’ll be off the coast of New Zealand, where legendary giants have long roamed.

So it shouldn’t be too much of a surprise to learn that researchers exploring New Zealand’s deep waters on the hunt for elusive glow-in-the-dark sharks and hoki managed to catch an unexpected hitchhiker: a 4-meter (13-foot) giant squid.

Researchers aboard the New Zealand-based National Institute of Water and Atmospheric Research Ltd (NIWA) research vessel Tangaroa were on an expedition to survey hoki, New Zealand’s most valuable commercial fish, in the Chatham Rise – an area of ocean floor to the east of New Zealand that makes up part of the "lost continent" of Zealandia.

[...]

Though giant squids are very rare, they can be found around the world, from Japan to the Gulf of Mexico, but they most often seem to crop up around New Zealand waters.

“New Zealand is kind of the giant squid capital of the world – anywhere else a giant squid is caught in a net would be a massive deal. But there’s been a few caught off New Zealand," Stevens said in a statement.

“It’s only the second one I’ve ever seen. I’ve been on about 40 trips on Tangaroa, and most surveys are about a month, and I’ve only ever seen two. That’s pretty rare.”

[...]

While the squid was fortuitous, Dr Jérôme Mallefet of UCLouvain, Belgium – the world's leading expert on bioluminescent sharks – was determined to capture and photograph glow-in-the-dark sharks. He even set up a darkroom aboard the RV Tangaroa in anticipation, and was rewarded handsomely with the first evidence of bioluminescent sharks in New Zealand waters.

https://www.iflscience.com/plants-a...arks-captured-by-researchers-off-new-zealand/
 

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Mugeghalaya home to world's largest cave fish

Source: Times of India
Date: 19 February, 2020

It was white, with translucent fins and tails, and had no eyes. But it caught the attention of Dr DB Harries, a biologist at Heriot-Watt University in Edinburgh, on a caving expedition in Meghalaya's Jaintia Hills.

Something about it stood out. So he went back the following day, with biscuits and a net.

"After several failed attempts, I managed to catch one by putting biscuits in a large bag and sinking it in the pool. I was surprised by how large the fish was, over 40 cm. But I didn't realise at the time it was bigger than any known cave fish.

"It's generally assumed that since food is scarce in caves, animals like fish would be small in size and occur in relatively low numbers. But here, we have one that's over 10 times bulkier than other species of cave fish and in a population of about 100. In one cave," said Harries, a member of the Grampian Speleogical Group, Scotland's largest caving club. Once home, he sent the photos to a cave fish specialist in the UK, who told him it was "something extraordinary" and suggested getting in touch with fish specialists in India. It was then that they realised it was the largest cave fish in the world. But as they studied the fish, they realised there was more.

"The finding is evolutionarily important as this is also the world's first cave-adapted form of the genus Tor (Golden Mahseer, a game fish species found in fast-flowing rivers). This will hold the key to the evolutionary history and biogeography of the fish species and the area," said Rajeev Raghavan from the Kerala University of Fisheries and Ocean Studies, a co-author of the paper.

m.timesofindia.com/city/shillong/meghalaya-home-to-worlds-largest-cave-fish/amp_articleshow/74201666.cms
Link is dead. No archived version found at the Times of India site.

A more extensive report on the discovery can be obtained from National Geographic:

https://www.nationalgeographic.com/animals/2020/02/worlds-largest-cave-fish-found-in-india/
 
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Mugeghalaya home to world's largest cave fish

Source: Times of India
Date: 19 February, 2020

It was white, with translucent fins and tails, and had no eyes. But it caught the attention of Dr DB Harries, a biologist at Heriot-Watt University in Edinburgh, on a caving expedition in Meghalaya's Jaintia Hills.

Something about it stood out. So he went back the following day, with biscuits and a net.

"After several failed attempts, I managed to catch one by putting biscuits in a large bag and sinking it in the pool. I was surprised by how large the fish was, over 40 cm. But I didn't realise at the time it was bigger than any known cave fish.

"It's generally assumed that since food is scarce in caves, animals like fish would be small in size and occur in relatively low numbers. But here, we have one that's over 10 times bulkier than other species of cave fish and in a population of about 100. In one cave," said Harries, a member of the Grampian Speleogical Group, Scotland's largest caving club. Once home, he sent the photos to a cave fish specialist in the UK, who told him it was "something extraordinary" and suggested getting in touch with fish specialists in India. It was then that they realised it was the largest cave fish in the world. But as they studied the fish, they realised there was more.

"The finding is evolutionarily important as this is also the world's first cave-adapted form of the genus Tor (Golden Mahseer, a game fish species found in fast-flowing rivers). This will hold the key to the evolutionary history and biogeography of the fish species and the area," said Rajeev Raghavan from the Kerala University of Fisheries and Ocean Studies, a co-author of the paper.

https://m.timesofindia.com/city/shi...argest-cave-fish/amp_articleshow/74201666.cms
Link doesn't work.
 

EnolaGaia

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Link doesn't work.
The link is indeed dead, and I couldn't locate an alternate or archived version on the Times of India website.

See the original post (that you quoted) for a link to a more detailed news story about the cave fish.
 

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A salamander named Egoria: Palaeontologists identify new Jurassic amphibian

Source: heritagedaily.com
Date: 20 February, 2020

The palaeontologists found the remains of the ancient amphibian at the Berezovsky quarry, a fossil locality in the Krasnoyarsk Krai near the town of Sharypovo.

Fossils of ancient fish, various reptiles, mammals, herbivorous and predatory dinosaurs have been previously found there. The research materials were collected on field expeditions in the mid-2010s. In these expeditions the scientists from St Petersburg University worked alongside experts from the University of Bonn (Germany), the Tomsk State University, the Zoological Institute of the Russian Academy of Sciences, and the Sharypovo Museum of Local History and Nature.

Four vertebrate fossils enabled the scientists to declare the finding of a new genus and species. These were: three trunk vertebrae and the atlas – the first and, in the case of the salamander, the only cervical vertebra. Since the atlas is a highly specialised vertebra, providing for attachment and rotation movements of the skull, it has a rather complex structure, the scientists explain. It is therefore most suitable for describing a new species as it provides much information for analysis. The amphibian proved to have belonged to the geologically oldest stem salamanders.

https://www.heritagedaily.com/2020/...ogists-identify-new-jurassic-amphibian/125787
 

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See the original post (that you quoted) for a link to a more detailed news story about the cave fish.
Thanks for this. The link was tested, as always, on a preview and again after posting. Can only presume it was removed shortly afterwards!
 

EnolaGaia

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Thanks for this. The link was tested, as always, on a preview and again after posting. Can only presume it was removed shortly afterwards!
That seemed to be the case ... There seems to be a high rate of turnover on that site.
 

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Indo-China is a hotbed of new didcoveries.

A new species of bent-toed gecko (Cyrtodactylus phnomchiensis) has been described from Cambodia's Prey Lang Wildlife Sanctuary by Wild Earth Allies Biologist Thy Neang in collaboration with North Carolina Museum of Natural Sciences' Herpetologist Bryan Stuart. This new species is described in ZooKeys.

The species was discovered by Thy Neang during Wild Earth Allies field surveys in June-July 2019 on an isolated mountain named Phnom Chi in the Prey Lang Wildlife Sanctuary when he encountered an unusual species of bent-toed gecko. "It was an extremely unexpected discovery. No one thought there were undescribed species in Prey Lang," said Neang.

https://phys.org/news/2020-04-scientists-bent-toed-gecko-species-cambodia.html
 

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They live under the Jailhouse Rock.

A new look at the critters known as “Elvis worms” has the scale worm family all shook up.

These deep-sea dwellers flaunt glittery, iridescent scales reminiscent of the sequins on Elvis’ iconic jumpsuits (SN: 1/23/20). “For a while, we thought there was just one kind of Elvis worm,” says Greg Rouse, a marine biologist at the Scripps Institution of Oceanography in La Jolla, Calif. But analysis of the creatures’ genetic makeup shows that Elvis worms comprise four species of scale worm, Rouse and colleagues report May 12 in ZooKeys.

Rouse’s team compared the genetic material of different Elvis worms with each other, and with DNA from other scale worm species. This analysis places Elvis worms in the Peinaleopolynoe genus of scale worms, which includes two other known species — one found off the coast of Spain, the other off California.

https://www.sciencenews.org/article/deep-sea-worms-elvis-species
 

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A new diamond frog in the rough.

Despite the active ongoing taxonomic progress on Madagascar's frogs, the amphibian inventory of this hyper-diverse island is still very far from being complete.

The known diversity of the diamond frog genus Rhombophryne in Madagascar has increased significantly (more than doubled!) over the last 10 years, but still there are several undescribed candidate species awaiting description. New species are constantly being discovered in Madagascar, often even within already well-studied areas. One such place is the Montagne d'Ambre National Park in northern Madagascar.

Montagne d'Ambre National Park is widely known for its endemic flora and fauna, waterfalls and crater lakes, and considered to be a relatively well-studied area. Yet, only two studies have been published so far on the reptiles and amphibians of the Park.

Serving the pursuit of knowledge of the herpetofauna in the region, Germany-based herpetologist Dr. Mark D. Scherz (Bavarian State Collection of Zoology, Technical University of Braunschweig, University of Konstanz) published a description of a new diamond frog species: Rhombophryne ellae, in the open-access journal Zoosystematics and Evolution.

https://phys.org/news/2020-06-diamond-species-frog-northern-madagascar.html
 
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No joke as new harlequin frog discovered.

Scientists have discovered a new species of rare frog that is rapidly disappearing. At the same time, they've also discovered hope.

An unstoppable wave of a deadly fungal disease has swept over every continent on earth, leading to mass die-offs of many frogs and amphibians. Harlequin frogs—the brightly-colored jewels of the tropics—have been one of the hardest hit. Critically endangered, several dozen species have vanished over the last three decades. Some are feared extinct.

Despite the devastating disease, a team of scientists working in Peru recently found a never-before-documented species of harlequin frog nestled in a valley on the eastern slopes of the Peruvian Andes. While these frogs can only be found in the Central and South America, they had never been spotted in this particular region before. ...

https://phys.org/news/2020-09-frog-killing-disease-frog-species.html
 

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The Somali man who has a scorpion named after him

If you were going to have a creature named after you then a scorpion may not be your first choice, but Ahmed Ibrahim Awale believes the Pandinurus awalei will serve as an inspiration to budding Somali scientists.

The 66-year-old scientist from Somaliland has been honoured by the three researchers who discovered the new scorpion species in the region in recognition of his decades of work in conservation and environmental protection.
"Most of the species identified in Somalia and Somaliland are named after a place, a characteristic that a plant or animal may have or somebody from Europe or America," he told the BBC in his lively voice on the line from his office in Hargeisa.
"But for many young people here, it will encourage them to know that this species is named after Awale - after all Awale is a Somali." His pride in having this honour clearly shines through.
(c) BBC '20.
 

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Two new greater glider species discovered: 'Australia’s biodiversity just got a lot richer'


One of the world’s biggest gliding mammals, Australia’s greater glider is actually three separate species, according to new research


One of the world’s biggest gliding mammals, Australia’s once-common and unique greater glider, actually comprises three separate species, according to new genetic research.
Researchers said the findings should prompt urgent work to better understand the three species which are under pressure from rising temperatures, bushfires and land-clearing.
The study adds two new marsupials to Australia’s list of species and creates new challenges for protecting the three animals which are all unique to Australia.
Greater gliders were listed as vulnerable by the federal government even before last summer’s bushfire’s burned about one-third of their habitat
(c) The Guardian '20
 

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Nature truly never ceases to amaze...

Newfound marine blob looks like 'party balloon' with two strings, scientists say

Source: livescience.com
Dare: 1 December, 2020

Deep in an underwater canyon off the coast of Puerto Rico, there's a party of balloon-like sea creatures keeping things festive in the abyssal depths.

Their bodies are small — about the size of a golf tee (just over 2 inches, or 6 centimeters, long) — but they're vibrant; when the creatures move and pulse, rows of tiny hair-like cilia refract light into a prism of shining colors.

Researchers at the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) first spotted these mysterious party blobs in 2015, sighting three of them near the seabed at a depth of roughly 13,000 feet (4,000 meters). Now, in a paper published Nov. 18 in the journal Plankton and Benthos research, the team has identified the blobs as a new species of ctenophore –- tiny invertebrate predators also known as comb jellies or "sea walnuts" –- called Duobrachium sparksae.

[...]

https://www.livescience.com/balloon-like-comb-jelly-discovered-puerto-rico.html
 
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