Science has identified some 2 million species of plants, animals and microbes on Earth, but scientists estimated there are millions more left to discover, and new species are constantly discovered and described. The most commonly discovered new species are typically insects, a type of animal with a high degree of biodiversity. Newly discovered mammal species are rare, but they do occur, typically in remote places that haven't been well studied previously. Some animals are found to be new species only when scientists peer at their genetic code, because they look outwardly similar to another species — these are called cryptic species. Some newfound species come from museum collections that haven't been previously combed through and, of course, from fossils. Read below for stories about newly discovered species, both alive on Earth today and those that once roamed the planet.
More than 66 million years ago, a feathered dinosaur with two skinny legs and a bony crest on top of its head got mired in the mud, likely putting up a mighty struggle before dying and eventually fossilizing, a new study finds.
The discovery of a newly identified species of long-necked sauropod dinosaur, combined with the discovery of the braincase of an already known species of sauropod, is helping paleontologists determine when sauropods made it to Australia.
While excavating the so-called “Ho-Hum” site in Queensland, Australia, paleontologists discovered one of the most complete skeletons of a long-necked sauropod dinosaur ever found on the continent.