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

PeteByrdie

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Flying squirrel and eyeless spider discovered in Greater Mekong

A series of high-flying creatures, including giant flying frogs and squirrels and a parachute gecko, are among the hundreds of exotic new species recently discovered in the greater Mekong region in southeast Asia.

A new eyeless spider and a fish that mates head-to-head are also highlighted in a report from WWF on the extraordinary biodiversity in the forests surrounding the Mekong river, which runs through Cambodia, Laos, Myanmar, Thailand, Vietnam and China, and is also home to about 325 million people.

The discovery of over 300 new species of animals, fish and plants in the region in 2012-13 comes as scientists revealed that human activities such as the destruction of habitats, hunting and the pollution of land and water have driven extinction rates to 1000 times faster than the natural rate.

“Most species remain unknown to science and they likely face greater threats than the ones we do know,” said Professor Stuart Pimm, an ecologist at Duke University in North Carolina, US, and who led the new study published in Science. Without urgent action, he said, further rises in extinction rates are likely, heralding what many believe could become the sixth mass extinction in Earth’s history.

The discoveries in the Mekong region illustrate how, even as many species are dying out, new animals can be revealed even in heavily populated areas. The new species of red-and-white-furred flying squirrel was discovered on sale in a bush meat market in Laos. In Cambodia, a new tailorbird warbler was found hiding in plain sight in the capital Phnom Penh, during routine checks for avian flu.

“The species discoveries affirm the Greater Mekong as one of the world’s richest and most biodiverse regions,” said Thomas Gray, manager of WWF-Greater Mekong’s Species Programme. “If we’re to prevent these new species disappearing into extinction, and to keep alive the hope of finding other fascinating creatures in years to come, it’s critical that governments invest in conservation.”

Among the 21 new amphibian species discovered is Helen’s flying frog, discovered less than 62 miles from Ho Chi Minh City in Vietnam. The huge green frog managed to evade biologists until recently by using its large, webbed hands and feet to glide between treetops and only coming down to breed in rain pools. It was found in a patch of forest surrounded by farmland, highlighting the urgent need for conservation.

“Lowland tropical forests are among the most threatened habitats in the world due to human pressures, such as logging and degradation,” said Gray. “While Helen’s tree frog has only just been discovered, this species, like many others, is already under threat in its fast shrinking habitat.” Also discovered in Vietnam was a tiny new fish with a very complex anatomy which includes having its sex organs just behind its mouth. As as a result, it mates head-to-head.

The new species of parachute gecko was discovered in the evergreen forest in western Thailand’s Kaeng Krachan national park, which also hosts one of the world’s biggest tiger populations. The new spider, which has evolved to have no eyes as a result of living permanently without daylight in caves, was found in Laos.

While nature reserves are critical, Pimm said many threatened animals lived outside them and called for citizen scientists to help conservationists track the species.

“Most species live outside protected areas, so understanding how their environments are changing is a vital task,” Pimm said.
http://www.theguardian.com/environm...d-eyeless-spider-discovered-in-greater-mekong
 

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Vid at link.

Mouse-like mammal with ‘trunk’ found to be elephant relative 0

A new mouse-like species of mammal discovered in the remote deserts of southwestern Africa is found to share more of its DNA with elephants, sea cows, and aardvarks than mice or true shrews.

Researchers from the California Academy of Sciences discovered the new species of elephant shrew or ’round-eared sengi’, with their findings published in the Journal of Mammalogy.

‘Macroscelides micus’ has rust-coloured fur for camouflage in the red Namib Desert and a long snout or ‘trunk’, which it uses like an aardvark to sweep the floor and search for ants to eat. Weighing only 29g and measuring 19cm, the species is also significantly smaller than other elephant shrews previously discovered.

They were also found to have a large, hairless subcaudal ‘scent’ gland on the underside of the tail, and lacked the dark skin pigment of other sengi.

Genetic analysis showed clear differences and no evidence of cross-breeding with other species of elephant shrew, leading the researchers to conclude that Macroscelides micus is reproductively isolated.

One of the researchers that made the discovery, Dr Jack Dumbacher, said in a statement:

“Genetically, Macroscelides micus is very different from other members of the genus and it’s exciting to think that there are still areas of the world where even the mammal fauna is unknown and waiting to be explored.”

http://descrier.co.uk/science/mouse-lik ... -relative/
 

PeteByrdie

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What's implied here? That this sengi shares a more recent ancestor with elephants and manatees and that it's extraordinary resemblance to other sengi is just convergent evolution? Somehow, that seems unlikely. But interesting if true.
 

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A leading scientist from Sevenoaks has discovered a new species of wasp – less than a millimetre long – in one of the town’s school playgrounds.

Dr Andrew Polaszek, a Natural History Museum entomologist from South Park, found the previously unknown species living inside whiteflies on a maple tree belonging to Sevenoaks Primary School.

Link

http://www.sevenoakschronicle.co.uk/Par ... story.html

Well it is very small - and yes South Park is a district of Sevenoaks!
 

PeteByrdie

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This is the worst excuse for hanging about in a school playground I've ever heard! ;)
 

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Viruses, right at the simplest end of the chain of life, don't often make it onto this thread:

Newly-found gut virus 'abundant in humans'
By Smitha Mundasad, Health reporter, BBC News

Scientists have discovered a previously unknown virus living in the human gut, according to a study in Nature Communications.
Exploring genetic material found in intestinal samples, the international team uncovered the CrAssphage virus.
They say the virus could influence the behaviour of some of the most common bacteria in our gut.

Experts say these types of viruses, called bacteriophages, have been shown to play a role in chronic diseases.

Led by a team at San Diego State University in the USA, scientists scoured genetic information stored in three large international databases.
They stumbled upon a piece of DNA, some 100,000 letters long, present in more than half of all samples from the gut.
And while cross-checking its identity in global directories they realised it had never been described before.

Prof Robert Edwards, lead author, said: "It is not unusual to go looking for a novel virus and find one.
"But it's very unusual to find one that so many people have in common.
"The fact it has flown under the radar for so long is very strange
."

Researchers say the virus has the genetic fingerprint of a bacteriophage - a type of virus known to infect bacteria.
Phages may work to control the behaviour of bacteria they infect - some make it easier for bacteria to inhabit in their environments while others allow bacteria to become more potent.

Dr Edwards said: "In some way phages are like wolves in the wild, surrounded by hares and deer.
"They are critical components of our gut ecosystems, helping control the growth of bacterial populations and allowing a diversity of species."

According to the team, CrAssphage infects one of the most common types of bacteria in our guts.
They are now trying to grow the virus in a laboratory. And they say the next step would be to work out exactly how the virus affects our gut bacteria.

Dr Martha Clokie, at the University of Leicester, who was not involved in the research, told the BBC: "What is exciting here is the scientists have produced new techniques and powerful tools to help identify previously unknown viruses.
"And thinking longer term, we know bacteria can play an important role in chronic diseases such as obesity and diabetes.
"If we can pin down these viral controllers, we could perhaps one day use them to modify any harmful bacteria, rendering them less powerful."

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/health-28440006
 

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Giant venomous jellyfish found off Australia coast

Two new species of extremely poisonous jellyfish have been found off the coast of northwest Australia. Irukandji jellyfish are normally the size of a fingernail, but one of the specimens is the length of an arm.

The smaller of the two is the Malo bella, which was found near Exmouth. The larger one, the Keesingia gigas, was caught in a fishing net off Shark Bay further to the south.

The discovery – which was made by Lisa-Ann Gershwin, a CSIRO scientist and director of Marine Stinger Advisory Services – brings the number of Irukandji species found globally to 16, nine of which are in Australian waters. Until now, there were only two species of jellyfish found off Western Australia.

The Keesingia gigas is the length of an arm and can cause the potentially fatal Irunkandji syndrome – resulting in pain, vomiting, nausea, and in extreme cases stroke and heart failure.

Gershwin said the existence of the larger Keesingia gigas was previously known, but until now it had never been officially classified.

“It is absolutely humungous – the body is about 30 to 50 centimeters tall and that’s not including the tentacles. It’s an absolute whopper of a jellyfish,” she told ABC Australia.

However, its features challenge what is already known about the Irukandji.

“The features it has put it in two quite distantly related families which is a great head scratcher. But in this case we were able to work out with DNA what it actually is related to, so it had a really surprising aspect to it,” Gershwin said.

The Keesingia gigas was first photographed in the 1980s. It was first captured in 2013 by marine scientist John Keesing, after whom the sea creature is named.

Gershwin said that neither the jellyfish in the photograph nor the two specimens have tentacles, adding that such a feature is very unusual.

“Jellyfish always have tentacles...that’s how they catch their food. The tentacles are where they concentrate their stinging cells,” she told the AAP news agency.

http://rt.com/news/179096-giany-venemou ... australia/
 

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Deep sea 'mushroom' may be new branch of life
By Paul Rincon, Science editor, BBC News website

A mushroom-shaped sea animal discovered off the Australian coast has defied classification in the tree of life.
A team of scientists at the University of Copenhagen says the tiny organism does not fit into any of the known subdivisions of the animal kingdom.
Such a situation has occurred only a handful of times in the last 100 years.

The organisms, which were originally collected in 1986, are described in the academic journal Plos One.
The authors of the article note several similarities with the bizarre and enigmatic soft-bodied life forms that lived between 635 and 540 million years ago - the span of Earth history known as the Ediacaran Period.

These organisms, too, have proven difficult to categorise and some researchers have even suggested they were failed experiments in multi-cellular life.

The authors of the paper recognise two new species of mushroom-shaped animal: Dendrogramma enigmatica and Dendrogramma discoides. Measuring only a few millimetres in size, the animals consist of a flattened disc and a stalk with a mouth on the end.

During a scientific cruise in 1986, scientists collected organisms at water depths of 400m and 1,000m on the south-east Australian continental slope, near Tasmania. But the two types of mushroom-shaped organisms were recognised only recently, after sorting of the bulk samples collected during the expedition.

"Finding something like this is extremely rare, it's maybe only happened about four times in the last 100 years," said co-author Jorgen Olesen from the University of Copenhagen.
He told BBC News: "We think it belongs in the animal kingdom somewhere; the question is where."

The system used to group every life form on Earth encompasses several levels, or taxonomic ranks.
A domain is the highest taxonomic rank and below that is a kingdom. Traditionally, biologists have recognised five or six kingdoms, including animals, plants, fungi and bacteria.
Kingdoms are divided into phyla, which are grouped according to similarities in general body plan.

"What we can say about these organisms is that they do not belong with the bilateria," said Dr Olesen.
Bilateria represents one of the most important animal groupings, whose members share bilateral symmetry (their bodies are divided vertically into left and right halves that mirror one another). Humans belong within this grouping.

The new organisms are multicellular but mostly non-symmetrical, with a dense layer of gelatinous material between the outer skin cell and inner stomach cell layers.

The researchers did find some similarities to other animal groupings, such as the Cnidaria - the phylum that comprises corals and jellyfish - and the Ctenophora, which includes the marine organisms known as comb jellies. But the new organisms did not fulfil all the criteria required for inclusion in either of those categories.

Dr Olesen said the new animals could either be a very early branch on the tree of life, or be intermediate between two different animal phyla.
He conceded that they might eventually find their way into an existing group, because there was still so little known about Dendrogramma's biology.

One way to resolve the question surrounding Dendrogramma's affinities would be to examine its DNA, but new specimens will need to be found. The original samples were first preserved in formaldehyde and later transferred to 80% alcohol, a mode of treatment that prevents analysis of genetic material.

Accordingly, the team's paper in Plos One calls for researchers around the world to keep an eye out for other examples.
"We published this paper in part as a cry for help," said Dr Olesen.
"There might be somebody out there who can help place it."

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/science-environment-29054889
 

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Scientists discover new poison dart frog species in Donoso, Panama
I
A bright orange poison dart frog with a unique call was discovered in Donoso, Panama, and described by researchers from the Smithsonian Tropical Research Institute and the Universidad Autónoma de Chiriquí in Panama, and the Universidad de los Andes in Colombia. In the species description published this week in Zootaxa, it was named Andinobates geminisae for Geminis Vargas, "the beloved wife of [coauthor] Marcos Ponce, for her unconditional support of his studies of Panamanian herpetology."

Every new species name is based on a representative specimen. The specimen for this species was collected Feb. 21, 2011, in the headwaters of the Rio Caño, in the district of Donoso, Colón Province, Panama, by Samuel Valdés, who was then the MWH Global Inc. environment office director, and his field assistant, Carlos de la Cruz. Additional specimens were collected between the Rio Coclé del Norte and the Rio Belen by biologists Marcos Ponce and Abel Batista, then a student at the Universidad Autónoma de Chiriquí. The specimens were deposited in the Museo de Vertebrados at the University of Panama, the Museo Herpetólogico de Chiriquí at the Universidad Autónoma de Chiriquí and in the Círculo Herpetólogico de Panamá.

"Abel Batista and Marcos Ponce were the first to note the presence of this species," said Cesar Jaramillo, Smithsonian herpetologist. "They've known it was there for several years. However, they were not sure if it was only a variety of another poison dart frog species, Oophaga pumilio, which exhibits tremendous color variation. Based on morphological characteristics of the adult and the tadpole, I thought it might be a new species of Andinobates." ...

More information: Zootaxa 3:333-352 DOI: 10.11646/zootaxa.3866.3.2
Provided by Smithsonian Tropical Research Institute

"Scientists discover new poison dart frog species in Donoso, Panama." September 26th, 2014. http://phys.org/news/2014-09-scientists ... ecies.html
 

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A new land snail species named for equal marriage rights

Scientists from the Department of Life Science,National Taiwan Normal Universityand the Biodiversity Research Center,Academia Sinicadescribed a new endemic land snail species. The new speciesAegista diversifamiliawas long confused for the widely distributedA. subchinensis. The study was published in the open access journalZooKeys. Aegista subchinensis was first described in 1884 and was thought to be widely distributed in Taiwan. In 2003, one of the co-authors Dr. Yen-Chang Lee noticed that there was morphological divergence between the western and eastern populations of A. subchinensis separated by the Central Mountain Range, a major biogeographic barrier in Taiwan. Dr. Lee suggested that there might be cryptic species within the one identified as A. subchinensis at the time. ...

"When we were preparing the manuscript," Dr. Lee explains, "it was a period when Taiwan and many other countries and states were struggling for the recognition of same-sex marriage rights. It reminded us that Pulmonata land snails are hermaphrodite animals, which means they have both male and female reproductive organs in single individual. They represent the diversity of sex orientation in the animal kingdom. We decided that maybe this is a good occasion to name the snail to remember the struggle for the recognition of same-sex marriage rights." ...

http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/20 ... 104210.htm
 

ramonmercado

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ROCK BAT

BRAZIL:

Researchers in Brazil have named a new species of frog after bat-munching rock star Ozzy Osbourne. The tree frog, which has a bat-like call, has been discovered in the Brazilian Amazon by scientists at Museu Paraense Emilio Goeldi.

Pedro Peloso and his colleagues came across the tiny amphibian in 2009 as part of a biodiversity survey in a protected area of rainforest. He reveals they nicknamed the species the “bat-frog” due to its shrill cry.

“That led to us talking about being fans of Ozzy Osbourne and Black Sabbath.”

Osbourne infamously bit the head off a bat that a fan threw on stage at a gig in 1981. Peloso named his bat-frog Dendropsophus ozzyi.

http://www.irishexaminer.com/world/quir ... 97253.html
 

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Vid at link.

Wildlife photographer Jeff Cremer has discovered what appears to be a new type of bioluminescent larvae. He told members of the press recently that he was walking near a camp in the Peruvian rainforest at night a few years ago, when he came upon a side of exposed earth upon which there were many little green glowing dots. Taking a closer look, he found that each dot was in fact the glowing head of a worm of some sort. He posted pictures of what he'd found on Reddit which were eventually spotted by entomologist Aaron Pomerantz, with the Tambopata Research Center. After contacting Cremer, Pomerantz made a pilgrimage to see the worms, gathered some samples and set to work studying them. Shortly thereafter, he determined that the worms were the larvae of an unknown type of beetle, likely a type of click beetle.

Further study of the half inch long larvae revealed that the photoluminescence served just a single purpose, attracting prey. They would sit waiting with their jaws spread wide open. When the light they were emitting attracted something, typically ants or termites, the jaws would snap shut capturing the bug thus providing a meal. Pomerantz collected several samples of the larvae and took them back to a lab where they were tested—he and his colleagues found the larvae would snap shut on just about any bug that touched its jaws. He compared them to the giant worms in the 90's sci-fi comedy, Tremors—only these were much smaller of course.

In the wild the larvae live in the ground—they push just their heads out, keeping their bodies hidden, revealing just their glowing heads—bugs, like moths to a light on the porch in summer, are attracted to the light and get eaten. ...

http://phys.org/news/2014-11-mysterious ... orest.html
 

ramonmercado

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A team led by researchers from Princeton University, Michigan State University and the Indonesian Institute of Sciences have confirmed the discovery of a new bird species more than 15 years after the elusive animal was first seen on the Indonesian island of Sulawesi.

The newly named Sulawesi streaked flycatcher (Muscicapa sodhii), distinguished by its mottled throat and short wings, was found in the forested lowlands of Sulawesi where it had last been observed. The researchers report in PLOS ONE that the new species is markedly different from other flycatchers in its plumage (feathers), body structure, song and genetics, proving that it is a new species. Because the bird has survived in a region heavily degraded by cacao plantations, the species is not currently at risk of extinction. ...

http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/20 ... 143602.htm
 

ramonmercado

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Giant Stick Insects from Vietnam

The newly described stick insect Phryganistria heusii yentuensis is over a foot long (32cm), or 21 inches (54 cm) with its front legs stretched out. It’s the second biggest living insect that has been described. Ever.

Walking sticks are a group of leaf-eating insects that look like … well, sticks and twigs. They are not easy animals to spot. Researchers from the Royal Belgian Institute of Natural Sciences (RBINS) captured the new species in Vietnam.

Catching and studying walking sticks is not easy, since they are mostly active at night. And by “active,” please understand I mean lumbering along slowly while pretending to be branches swaying in the breeze. ...

http://www.wired.com/2014/12/giant-stic ... m-vietnam/
 

PeteByrdie

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ramonmercado said:
Giant Stick Insects from Vietnam

The newly described stick insect Phryganistria heusii yentuensis is over a foot long (32cm), or 21 inches (54 cm) with its front legs stretched out. It’s the second biggest living insect that has been described. Ever.

Walking sticks are a group of leaf-eating insects that look like … well, sticks and twigs. They are not easy animals to spot. Researchers from the Royal Belgian Institute of Natural Sciences (RBINS) captured the new species in Vietnam.

Catching and studying walking sticks is not easy, since they are mostly active at night. And by “active,” please understand I mean lumbering along slowly while pretending to be branches swaying in the breeze. ...

http://www.wired.com/2014/12/giant-stic ... m-vietnam/
I'm surprised they find it such a challenge finding and studying stick insects. Have they considered plucking a voluptuous-looking twig from a tree, putting lipstick on it and placing it in the leaf litter to attract the males? They could put glue on it so the males could escape once they'd embraced it. Anyway, I'm off to watch some more cartoons.
 

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Vid at link.

The Mariana Trench located in the Western Pacific near Guam hosts the deepest place on earth, and has been the focus of high profile voyages to conquer its deepest point, Challenger Deep
. A recent expedition to the Trench onboard Research Vessel Falkor targeted multiple depths and found active thriving communities of animals. The expedition set many new records such as the deepest rock samples ever collected and new species including the deepest fish ever recorded. ...

New species were discovered on this expedition that will provide insight into the physiological adaptations of animals to this high-pressure environment. Several records for deepest living fish, either caught or seen on video were broken. Setting the final record at 8,143 m, was a completely unknown variety of snailfish, which stunned scientists when it was filmed several times during seafloor experiments. The white translucent fish had broad wing-like fins, an eel-like tail and slowly glided over the bottom. Dr. Alan Jamieson stated that "when findings and records such as these can be broken so many times in a single trip, we really do get the feeling we are at the frontier of marine science." ...

Read more at: http://phys.org/news/2014-12-species-mariana-trench.html#jCp
 

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Scientists discovered a new water frog species from the Pacific slopes of the Andes in central Peru. The discovery was published in the open access journal ZooKeys.

The name of the new species Telmatobius ventriflavum comes from the Latin venter, meaning belly, and flavus, meaning yellow and refers to the golden yellow and orange coloration on the body.

The Telmatobiinae, water frogs, are a subfamily of frogs endemic to the Andes of South America. The populations of several species of Telmatobius have declined dramatically over the past 30 years, and the genus is now thought to be extinct in Ecuador. These declines have been associated with the spread of the fungal disease chytridiomycosis.

The new species was discovered in the species-poor coastal valleys of central Peru, a region well studied but apparently still hiding surprises. ...

http://phys.org/news/2015-02-bright-yellow-species-frog-peruvian-andes.html
 

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Here's another discovery from the Anura department.

''Scientist in Costa Rica discovers new species of glass frog''
By Charlotte Krol, and AP, video source APTN

9:51AM BST 20 Apr 2015
Brian Kubicki said the tiny, semi-translucent glass-frog specimen, which he named Hyalinobatrachium dianae, is very delicate and its presence "is a good indicator of the general health of the eco-system."
More here, http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/ear...Rica-discovers-new-species-of-glass-frog.html


 

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It has been one of the aquarium trade's mystery stars. But although specimens of this colourful crayfish have been on sale since the early 2000s, no one was sure of its species name or where it came from.

Suppliers are secretive to stop others muscling in on their business, says Christian Lukhaup, an independent researcher from Germany. So he did his own detective work on the crayfish's origins.

"It is like an investigation in a crime case," Lukhaup says. "This is the only way to find out more."

There were some clues. The crayfish looked like members of Cherax, a large genus occurring in New Guinea and Australia, and some dealers claimed they came from west part of New Guinea in Indonesia. So Lukhaup headed to the island's West Papua province and asked local people if they had ever seen it. Eventually, he found specimens in a creek.

Detailed study revealed it was a new species. In honour of its appearance, he named it Cherax pulcherpulcher meaning "beautiful" in Latin.

"It is a knockout. It is gorgeous," says Zen Faulkes from the University of Texas-Pan American. ...

http://www.newscientist.com/article...-new-species-from-indonesia.html#.VVSRb_mrTIU
 

rynner2

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It has been one of the aquarium trade's mystery stars. But although specimens of this colourful crayfish have been on sale since the early 2000s, no one was sure of its species name or where it came from.
http://www.newscientist.com/article/dn27517-mysterious-beautiful-blue-crayfish-is-new-species-from-indonesia.html#.VVSRb_mrTIU
They could call it the Colourful Crayonfish.

Yes, that's my cloak, the one with moons and stars on it...

rynner swirls the cloak around himself and vanishes in a cloud of sparkly dust...
 

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They could call it the Colourful Crayonfish.

Yes, that's my cloak, the one with moons and stars on it...

rynner swirls the cloak around himself and vanishes in a cloud of sparkly dust...
It could be your familiar.
 

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Biodiversity: Eleven new species come to light in Madagascar
Date:
May 25, 2015
Source:
Université de Genève
Summary:
Madagascar is home to extraordinary biodiversity, but in the past few decades, the island's forests and associated biodiversity have been under greater attack than ever. Rapid deforestation is affecting the biotopes of hundreds of species, including the panther chameleon, a species with spectacular intra-specific colour variation. A new study reveals that this charismatic reptilian species, which is only found in Madagascar, is actually composed of eleven different species.

http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2015/05/150525081116.htm
 

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Punk rock sea slug spotted in Australia

Johnny Rotten would love this spiky punk rock sea slug. This one was photographed in Nelson Bay, a biodiversity hotspot on the east coast of Australia, during a seasonal sea slug census. Since sea slugs have short life cycles, they respond quickly to changes in the environment and can be used as indicators of an area's health.

Polycera capensis is a native of South Africa and thought to be relatively new here. Roughly 5 centimetres long, it is one of more than 200 species that now hang around in the bay. Another striking specimen, the aptly named splendid nudibranch, Chromodoris splendida, pictured below, looks more clown-like than punk. ...

http://www.newscientist.com/article...a-slug-spotted-in-australia.html#.VXHzPM-rTIU
 

ramonmercado

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UCR Student Finds New Firefly Species in Southern California

An undergraduate student at the University of California, Riverside has discovered a new species of firefly from Southern California. Joshua Oliva found a specimen of the new species while collecting near Topanga, CA as part of his semester’s insect collection.

“He wasn’t 100 percent certain it was a firefly, and brought it to me for confirmation,” said Doug Yanega, senior scientist at the university’s Entomology Research Museum. “I know the local fauna well enough that within minutes I was able to tell him he had found something entirely new to science. I don’t think I’ve seen a happier student in my life.”

Yanega explained that, contrary to popular misconception, there are a few fireflies — which are actually nocturnal beetles, not flies — that live in Southern California. They tend to occur in very small and highly localized populations near springs and seeps, where they are infrequently encountered. ...

http://entomologytoday.org/2015/06/24/ucr-student-finds-new-firefly-species-in-southern-california/
 

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Not quite newly discovered, as the second one was only seen in 2003, the spider tailed snake.

"This utterly terrifying-looking creature is called the spider-tailed horned viper, and for good reason. The venomous snake, native to Iran, has a tail that looks like a spider — and it uses the eerie appendage as bait to lure in birds, which it then devours."

http://www.vox.com/2015/6/29/8861817/snake-spider-tail
 

PeteByrdie

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Not quite newly discovered, as the second one was only seen in 2003, the spider tailed snake.

"This utterly terrifying-looking creature is called the spider-tailed horned viper, and for good reason. The venomous snake, native to Iran, has a tail that looks like a spider — and it uses the eerie appendage as bait to lure in birds, which it then devours."

http://www.vox.com/2015/6/29/8861817/snake-spider-tail
The weird thing is, the tail doesn't even look that much like a spider, but it was giving me my arachnophobic creeps all the same. Remarkable animal!
 

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OK, so no mokele m'bembe yet but plenty of hitherto unknown large animals out there in Amazonia. Felt sorry for the dwarf manatee. Hope these animals won't be discovered just in time to be made extinct.

http://www.biodiversityjournal.com/pdf/6(1)_219-244.pdf

(If link doesn't work, just google for "Hotspot of new megafauna found in the Central Amazon (Brazil): the lower Rio Aripuanã Basin Marc G.M. van Roosmalen"
 

ramonmercado

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A University of Queensland graduate has identified a previously unknown species of insect living within reach of Australian suburbia.

UQ School of Biological Sciences Honours graduate Thomas Semple investigated the insect responsible for bush coconuts in South East Queensland last year as part of his studies.

"Bush coconuts, also known as bloodwood apples, are a type of bush tucker," Mr Semple said.

"Although their names sound like fruit, they are actually growths on plants – galls – triggered by the feeding of a very strange insect."

Mr Semple said until recently there were only two known species of the insect Cystococcus that lives inside these galls.

They typically occur in the savannah woodlands of northern Australia, but populations of different bush coconuts were recently found in Crows Nest National Park west of Brisbane, and in Toohey Forest in the heart of Brisbane.

Because they were found well outside their normal range, Mr Semple set about determining whether these populations represented a new species.

http://phys.org/news/2015-07-plain-sight-species-south-east.html
 

ramonmercado

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New species are discovered surprisingly often. But it's not every day we realize an entire lineage of wolves — the large, charismatic cousins of man's best friend — have been lurking under our noses for more than a million years.

That's the conclusion of an intriguing new study, published in the journal Current Biology, which re-examines the identity of "golden jackals" living in Africa. Not only are these a separate species from the golden jackals of Eurasia, the researchers report, but they're not even jackals. Meet the African golden wolf (Canis anthus).

"This represents the first discovery of a 'new' canid species in Africa in more than 150 years," lead author and Smithsonian biologist Klaus-Peter Koepfli says in a statement. The finding increases the number of living species in the family Canidae — which includes dogs, wolves, foxes, coyotes and jackals — from 35 to 36.


Read more: http://www.mnn.com/earth-matters/animals/blogs/new-wolf-species-discovered-africa#ixzz3hYmdtsVq
 
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