An extraordinary 120-million-year-old fossil bird from China reveals that the animal had a sexy but vaguely impractical tail.
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.
These strange, long-necked Triassic beasts were able to coexist because they chowed down on different prey.
Rocks might not sound like a delectable meal to most life-forms, but it's on the menu for a newly identified species of a plump, bizarre-looking clam.
These kangaroo-like rats turn up their long, toothless snouts at peanut butter, but they love earthworms.
A crocodile-like beast the length of a Volkswagen Beetle terrorized prey in the late Triassic oceans about 210 million years ago, a new study finds.
This 92-million-year-old tyrannosaur was so small, it was only slightly larger than the skull of its mighty relative, Tyrannosaurus rex.
An ancient crab that lived during the dinosaur age was so strange, paleontologists are calling it the platypus of the crab world.
This newly discovered, but now extinct carnivore lived about 22 million years ago in what is now Kenya. It was larger than a polar bear, the largest land-based carnivore alive today.
Paleontologists have unearthed a new 69 million-year-old mammal species in the North Slope of Alaska.
A newfound dinosaur seems to wear its heart on its tail, according to paleontologists who found the enormous beast and realized this "hopeless romantic" had heart-shaped tail bones.
With tentacle-covered snouts, claw-like spines that protrude from their heads and bodies covered in armor, these newfound catfish look more myth than reality.