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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Latest Articles

Triassic Reptile Skewered Clams with Teeth on Roof of Its Mouth
thalattosaur fossil
November 13th, 2015
Giant, lizardlike beasts with teeth strong enough to puncture clamshells and equipped with short limbs and a long, paddle-shaped tail populated waterways some 200 million years ago. And now, two new species of these thalattosaurs have been added to the ra
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Ancient Brazilian Lake Offers Trove of Amphibian Fossils
amphibian illustration Brazil
November 9th, 2015
A mishmash of ancient amphibians and reptiles once swam and hunted prey in an ancient Brazilian tropical lake, a new study finds.
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Codswallop! Ancient British 'Sea Monster' Mislabeled for 200 Years
ichthyosaur fossil
November 2nd, 2015
A group of ancient "sea monsters" is caught up in a centuries-old case of mistaken identity, according to new research.
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Photos: Catch a Glimpse of the Reclusive Glowing Green Eel
Glowing creature
November 11th, 2015
A serendipitous photo taken during a scuba-diving trip in the Caribbean clued researchers into the world of a mysterious green and glowing eel.
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66-Million-Year-Old Giant Raptor Fossils Found in South Dakota
Dakotaraptor illustration
November 3rd, 2015
Sixty-six million years ago, a giant raptor with feathered arms chased prey around the ancient South Dakotan landscape, a new study finds.
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Tiny Bird Fossil Solves Big Mystery About Life After Dinosaurs
ancient bird fossil
October 29th, 2015
A teeny-tiny fossilized bird skeleton is helping researchers understand the explosive rate at which birds diversified after the dinosaur age, new research shows.
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Ancient Reptile with Bizarre Smile Kept Tooth Fairy Busy
Early reptile skull
October 16th, 2015
The large and bulbous teeth of an early reptile likely helped it crunch beetles and other hard-shelled invertebrates about 290 million years ago, a new study finds.
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Shy Eel Glows Bright Green, Possibly As a 'Sexy Charm'
Serendipitious photo
November 11th, 2015
When scuba-diving scientists serendipitously spotted a glowing green eel in January 2011, they had no idea what caused it to light up like a brilliant neon sign.
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Micro Mollusk Breaks Record for World's Tiniest Snail
Snail from Borneo
November 2nd, 2015
An itsy-bitsy mollusk in Borneo is the new record holder for the world's smallest known snail, a new study finds.
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Giant Pterosaur Sported 110 Teeth (and 4 Wicked Fangs)
Triassic pterosaur
October 26th, 2015
A little more than 200 million years ago, a four-fanged pterosaur flew over the vast desert of Triassic Utah snagging other reptiles with its toothy mouth, until it met its untimely end on the banks of a dried-up oasis, new research finds.
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