Newfound Species

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.
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Adorably Tiny Crayfish Discovered (and It's a Cannibal)
tiny crayfish
April 9th, 2014
A new crayfish, Gramastacus lacus, discovered in southeast Australia's coastal lakes is one of the world's smallest examples of the species.
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Found: Rare Beetle Collected by Darwin 180 Years Ago
February 12th, 2014
A brightly colored beetle collected by Charles Darwin more than 180 years ago during his famous voyage aboard the HMS Beagle has been identified as a new species.
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Caught on Camera: Ice-Dwelling Sea Anemone
New sea anemone species lives on ice
January 30th, 2014
The underside of the Ross Ice Shelf held more than just a view of the ice.
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Two New Butterfly Species Discovered in US
An image of new butterfly species
March 7th, 2014
Two new butterfly species have been discovered in the U.S. — an unusual finding made by examining DNA.
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New Fiery-Red Coral Species Discovered in Peruvian Pacific
An image of coral species.
February 7th, 2014
In the clear waters off the coast of Peru, researchers have found a stunning new red coral species that was not previously described by scientists.
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New Species of Mammal Is a Sex Fiend
black-tailed antechinus face
February 24th, 2014
The black-tailed antechinus is a shrew-like marsupial that gives its life for sex. Males of the new species, discovered in southeastern Australia, have sex for hours and exhaust themselves in hope of siring many offspring.
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Leaf-Patterned Toad Without Ears Discovered in Peru
January 21st, 2014
Scientists have discovered a new species of toad that had been hiding on Peru's forest floors with a body camouflaged to look like dead leaves. A lack of eardrums separates it from its close relatives.
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