From an Ant That Looks Like a Dragon to a 414-legged Millipede : Here's Top 10 New Species of 2017
December 11, 2017 - 11:03 Jkt
A New York university's annual list of the 10 most bizarre new species discovered in the animal and plant kingdoms has been topped by a mini spider named after a hat from the "Harry Potter" series.
The 10th annual list also includes a pink insect that bares a striking resemblance to a leaf, a tomato that appears to bleed when its cut, and a polka dot sting ray.
During the decade since the first list was compiled in 2008, almost 200,000 new species have been discovered - but experts warn we risk not discovering many other species as extinction rates rise.
The list, compiled by the State University of New York's College of Environmental Science's International Institute for Species Exploration (IISE), includes four species found in Asia (India, Indonesia, Laos and Malaysia).
Others on the list come from Mexico, the US, Brazil, Colombia, Australia and Papua New Guinea.
Here are the top 10 for 2017:
(In alphabetical order by scientific name)
“Sorting Hat” Spider ( Eriovixia gryffindori). Location: India This tiny spider, less than 2 mm (a tenth of an inch) long, takes its name from the bewitched Sorting Hat in J.K. Rowling’s beloved Harry Potter books. Image via IISE. sorting hat in the Harry Potter film film franchise
Unexpected Katydid ( Eulophophyllum kirki). Location: Malaysia This spectacular new species of katydid was discovered while researchers were looking for tarantulas and snakes in Borneo. Image via IISE.
Omnivorous Root Rat ( Gracilimus radix). Location: Indonesia In what appears to be an evolutionary reversal, the newly discovered Sulawesi root rat dines on both plant and animal matter, making it unique among its strictly carnivorous relatives. Image via IISE.
414-legged Millipede ( Illacme tobini). Location: United States With 414 legs, this new species has not yet broken the record number for millepedes, but that could change. These animals continue to add body segments — and legs — throughout their lives. Image via IISE. A new species of millipede found lurking in the unexplored dark marble caves of Sequoia National Park has left scientists baffled. The critter has 414 legs, four 'penises', bizarre-looking mouthparts and secretes a poisonous chemical as a defense mechanism
“Dragon” Ant ( Pheidole drogon). Location: Papua New Guinea With their spiny backs reminding scientists of a dragon, this new species of ant is named for Drogon, the fierce black dragon commanded by Daenerys Targaryen in the epic fantasy, Game of Thrones. Image via IISE. Scientists were inspired to name the new ant species after the dragon 'Drogon' in Game of Thrones (pictured) because of its large and distinctive dragon-like spines
Freshwater Stingray ( Potamotrygon rex). Location: Brazil This large, strikingly patterned freshwater stingray is endemic to the Tocantins River in Brazil. Image via IISE.
Swimming Centipede ( Scolopendra cataracta). Location: Laos, Thailand and Vietnam This new centipede is black, has 20 pairs of legs and is up to 20 cm long (about 8 inches). It is the first species of centipede ever observed to be able to plunge into water and run along the bottom in much the same manner as it does on dry land. Image via IISE. The venomous centipede packs a powerful and painful bite and was discovered in Thailand by George Beccaloni of the Natural History Museum in London, hiding beneath a rock
Bush Tomato ( Solanum ossicruentum). Location: Australia The name of this new species was chosen with help from 150 seventh-grade life science students in Pennsylvania. Young fruits stain blood red when cut before maturing into a dry, bony state; therefore, the final choice combines the Latin “ossi” for bony and “cruentum” for bloody. Image via IISE.
Endangered Orchid ( Telipogon diabolicus). Location: Colombia The new species of critically endangered orchid, Telipogon diabolicus has a reproductive structure derived from the fusion of male and female flower parts into one that bears a striking resemblance to depictions of the devil’s head. Image via IISE.
It's only been discovered in one location in Colombia that's currently threatened by reconstruction of a road that will negatively impact its habitat
“Churro” Marine Worm ( Xenoturbella churro). Location: Mexico
Discovered deep in the Gulf of California, 1,722 meters (about 5,600 feet) below the surface, Xenoturbella churro is a 10 cm-long (4-inch) marine worm, one of half a dozen species now known in the genus. It is representative of a group of primitive worm-like animals that are the earliest branch in the family tree of bilaterally symmetrical animals, including insects and humans. Image via IISE. The strange pink worm Xenoturbella churro (pictured below), named after churro's, a Spanish fried pastry , was discovered 12,000 feet (3,658 metres) below the waves and may be one of our earliest ancestors
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