Our amazing planet.

12 Amazing Species Discovered in 2012

Bright Red Bird

A bright new bird, the Sira barbet, discovered in Peru

(Image credit: Cornell University.)

The Sira barbet (Capito Fitzpatrick) was spotted with its brilliant scarlet markings was discovered high in the cloud forest of Peru during a 2008 expedition. Described in a journal earlier this year, the bird is named for a renowned ornithologist and is spotted mostly pairs while looking for food in the low canopy of the forest.

Squat lobster

Newfound squat lobster

(Image credit: Image courtesy of Plataforma SINC)

In the underwater mountains of the coast of Spain, this crustacean, called a squat lobster, was found in August 2011 and announced as a new species this summer. The crustacean actually has more in common with hermit crabs than true lobsters and is only a little over 2 inches (5 centimeters) long. The creature is most closely related to a species in the Caribbean Sea, and the researchers said that both species likely invaded the Atlantic Ocean from the Pacific and Indian oceans a few million years ago.

Follow OurAmazingPlanet for the latest in Earth science and exploration news on Twitter @OAPlanet. We're also on Facebook & Google+.

Andrea Thompson
Live Science Contributor

Andrea Thompson is an associate editor at Scientific American, where she covers sustainability, energy and the environment. Prior to that, she was a senior writer covering climate science at Climate Central and a reporter and editor at Live Science, where she primarily covered Earth science and the environment. She holds a graduate degree in science health and environmental reporting from New York University, as well as a bachelor of science and and masters of science in atmospheric chemistry from the Georgia Institute of Technology.