About 99 million years ago, two bizarre spiders — each sporting hard, armored plates on their bodies and horns on their fangs — became mummified in sticky tree resin that turned into amber.
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.
A giant, toothy centipede with countless legs is also a swimming fiend, making it the first known aquatic centipede on record. And it's venomous, to boot, researchers found.
Scientists still know very little about the ocean, but here are some of the most peculiar things they've discovered.
Scientists recently described seven new peacock spider species, a species known for its dramatic coloration and lively courtship "dances" — let the spider dance party commence!
From an insect with a raunchy name to one of the ugliest species in the world, there were approximately 18,000 newfound species named last year.
The teeny-tiny head of a ginormous, long-necked titanosaur is revealing secrets about the massive, 95-million-year-old paleo beast, a new study finds.
Since Francis Tully's fossil discovery in the coalfields of Illinois, the so-called "Tully monster" has perplexed scientists, with some calling it a worm and others a shell-less snail.
A newly described species of frog is so small that it can sit comfortably on the tip of your thumb, and has a distinctive call that sounds like a cricket's chirp.
The skull of a horse-size dinosaur, a distant relative of the colossal Tyrannosaurus rex, suggests that braininess was behind the beast's rise to dominance millions of years ago.
A horse-size relative of the mighty Tyrannosaurus rex may not be big, but it has a surprisingly advanced brain, a new study finds.
The 2015 film "The Martian" inspired a team of researchers who recently described a newly discovered Australian plant species, naming it after Damon's botanist character.
A Muppet-faced fish with a lanky body more than 6 feet long gulped down plankton in Earth's ancient oceans about 92 million years ago, a new study finds.
Tarantulas star in a new study that describes 14 new species living in deserts, mountains, and backyard habitats in the southwestern United States.