1 Tahrcountry Musings: Scientists Choose Top 10 List of Newly Discovered Species of 2009

Sunday, May 23, 2010

Scientists Choose Top 10 List of Newly Discovered Species of 2009

The International Institute for Species Exploration at Arizona State University and an international committee of taxonomists have announced the eagerly awaited top 10 new species described in 2009. The annual top 10 new species announcement commemorate the anniversary of the birth of Carolus Linnaeus, who initiated the modern system of plant and animal names and classifications. The 300th anniversary of his birth on May 23 was celebrated worldwide in 2007.
The 10 Toppers are
1) A minnow with fangs (Danionella dracula ) found in a stream at Sha Du Zup between Mogaung and Tanai in Kachin State, Myanmar.
2) The golden orb spider ( Nephila komaci) discovered in  Madagascar is the first species of Nephila to be described since 1879.
3) A carnivorous deep-sea sponge (Chondrocladia (Meliiderma) turbiformis) discovered from Chatham Rise, Pyre Seamount, New Zealand,
4) A worm discovered off the central coast of California (Swima bombiviridis) that when threatened releases "bombs" that illuminate for several seconds with green bioluminescence.
5) A sea slug (Aiteng ater) discovered from Pak Phanang Bay, Nakhon Si Thammarat Province, Thailand, eats bugs, which is unusual since nearly all sacoglossans eat algae and a few specialize in gastropod eggs. Its discovery has resulted in a new family, Aitengidae.
6) A frogfish (Histiophryne psychedelica) that has an unusual psychedelic pattern and is unique among frogfishes for its flat face. This hairless striated frogfish was re-discovered by Maluku Divers in Ambon, Indonesia.
7) A two-inch mushroom (Phallus drewesii discovered off the coast of West Africa
8) An electric fish (Gymnotus omarorum) discovered in Uruguay, goes by the common name Omars' banded knifefish
9) A carnivorous plant species (Nepenthes attenboroughii) discovered in Philippines produces one of the largest pitchers known.
10) An "udderly weird yam" (Dioscorea orangeana) that was found in Madagascar.
 Photos and other information about the top 10 new species, including the explorers who made the discoveries are online at http://species.asu.edu.

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