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Friday, December 12, 2014

6 New and Interesting Species Discovered in 2014

You might think we’ve discovered everything about the natural world, especially when it comes to different kinds of animals. However, Mother Nature has a way of suppressing us. There are still a number of undiscovered subspecies of certain animals that are being discovered every year, and below are 10 of the latest discoveries for 2014.

Olinguito  -Bassaricyonneblina

The olinguito is a small mammal that has red-orange colored fluffy fur, short puffy tail, and a cute, round face. They’re related to the raccoons and were discovered last summer. They’re seen in Ecuador and Colombia and they spend most of their time on the forest canopy. These animals are also nocturnal and are carnivores.

ANDRILL AnemoneI- Edwardsiellaandrillae

Named after an Antarctic geological drilling program (ANDRILL), this sea anemone lives in very cold waters and even surrounded by ice. They’re around an inch long and have 20 to 24 tentacles. Although Antarctica does have a few sea anemone varieties, these are the only ones that can actually stand the harsh cold conditions.

Skeleton Shrimp – Liropusminusculus

Think of a shrimp with very translucent bodies. In fact, they’re so translucent that it’s very easy to just see right past them. They also don’t look like regular shrimp since their bodies are elongated and they have a smaller head. These creepy crustaceans were discovered in Santa Catalina, just off the shores of Southern California.

Leaf-tailed Gecko – Saltuariuseximius

Some animals have adopted physical features that can help them blend into their environment better. This gecko has a tail that looks like a leaf which is a very good camouflage for the rainforest. They’re relatively small in size, averaging around 4 inches long. They spend most of their time sitting around and waiting for their prey and they’re more active at night.

Amoeboid Protist – Spiculosiphonoceana

This strange creature is only 4 to5 centimeters long but it’s the biggest unicellular living organism found in the Mediterranean Sea. They have a star shaped body that comes out from a bulb. The tips of the stars are actually tentacles that spread out and take in food like a sponge.

Tinkerbell Fairyfly - Tinkerbella nana

Don’t let its name fool you. you might be thinking of the loveable fairy from Peter Pan, but the tinkerbell fairyfly is actually a new type of wasp found in the Costa Rican rainforest. What makes them special is that they’re very small. Measuring at around 250 micrometers, they’re just 2.5 times as wide as a strand of human hair.

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