By Faith Lapidus – A cockroach that glows in the dark, a black fungus that’s ruining prehistoric cave art and a frog smaller than a child’s fingernail. These are three in a top-ten list of newly discovered species for 2012. An international committee of taxonomists announced their annual picks this week.
Also on this year’s list are a tiny violet, a harp-shaped carnivorous sponge, the lesula monkey, a snail-eating snake and a flowering shrub from the endangered Madagascar forest. The committee also included an extinct hangingfly identified in a 165 million-year-old fossil, and a lacewing identified from an image a photographer shared on the Internet.
An average of 18,000 plant and animal species are discovered each year, but scientists have identified only about 2 million of the earth’s 10-12 million living species – and that’s not counting most of the teeming microbial world. Quentin Wheeler, founding director of the Institute, called for “a NASA-like mission to discover 10 million species in the next 50 years.” He said such an achievement could provide important new evidence about the origins of life on Earth, and new insights into how humans can live more sustainably on the planet.
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It looks so cute! I want to raise about 2000 of these and release them on my lawn every night, I would definitely save up on my energy bill!
That's so cool! Not a fan of frogs, but I like this little guy. He has personality.
Media always talks about species that are about to go extinct but never mentions this. I do think exctinction of animals is a worrying fact, but I would definitely want to know what species have been discovered lately and how can we make the planet a safer environement for them!
I have no idea what that white thing is, but it's fabulous! I want to wear it as a tiara and never stop being awesome
It's weird that despite all the pollution and the drama around global warming and our planet's safety, we still find so many new species all over the world
So, the fact that we are still discovering new species should mean that global warming is a myth?
No, but it should mean that we need to find every single one of these cute frogs and take good care of them, because they're keepers!
I've never heard of a more unenforceable law until now. How are they going to regulate this, and how are they going to write down tickets?
Wow, these things are so cool!
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