1 Tahrcountry Musings: Top 10 New Species Described in 2008

Sunday, May 24, 2009

Top 10 New Species Described in 2008

The International Institute for Species Exploration and an international committee of taxonomists have released the list of top 10 new species described in 2008. The international committee of experts was chaired by Janine N. Caira of the University of Connecticut.

The annual top 10 new species announcement and issuance of the SOS report (The State of Observed Species report) commemorate the anniversary of the birth of Carolus Linnaeus, who was responsible for the modern system of plant and animal names and classifications. An estimated 1.8 million species have been described since Linnaeus started his path breaking work. The estimate of species (I would like to call it guestimate) is between 2 million and 100 million species on Earth. Most scientists peg it closer to 10 million.

Here is a List of the Top Ten Species

1) A tiny seahorse (Hippocampus satomiae ) with a standard length of 13.8 millimeters and an approximate height of 11.5 millimeters
2) A genus of palm (Tahina spectablilis ) with fewer than 100 individuals found only in a small area of northwestern Madagascar.
3) A caffeine-free coffee from Cameroon (Coffea charrieriana )
4) An extremophile bacteria that was discovered in hairspray by Japanese scientists (Microbacterium hatanonis )
5) World's longest insect with a body length of 36.6 centimeters and overall length of 56.7 centimeters (Phobaeticus chain)
6) World's smallest snake, the Barbados Threadsnake ( Leptotyphlops carlae ) 104 millimeters in length.
7) The ghost slug (Selenochlamys ysbryda )
8) A snail (Opisthostoma vermiculum ) found in Malaysia
9) A beautiful species of damselfish (Chromis abyssus )
10) A fossilized specimen ( Materpiscis attenboroughi ) , the oldest known vertebrate to be viviparous.

The study reminds us just how incomplete our knowledge of Earth's species is.

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