Some animals have existed for so long without being noticed and seen by humans until recently. Some have been overlooked because of their superb evasion and similarities to other animals in the same family. But thanks to ceaseless researches and some accidents, there are some new animal species which are recently discovered. Here are eight of them.
1. Eriovixia gryffindori
Who would ever thought that a spider species could have a body that resembles Harry Potter’s sorting hat? Well, apparently there’s that kind of spider in Karnataka, southwest of India. The spider is only 7 millimeters. Its color is brownish and it has a curve at the top. The shape and color helps the spider blends with dead foliage to avoid predators.
J.K. Rowling even gave her consent and congratulated the researchers for the finding. Sorting hat spider is a family of Araneidae and a part of Eriovixia genus. Spiders in that family usually spin webs with circular weaves. This spider is nocturnal and a master of mimicry, which is why it hadn’t been discovered for so long.
2. Getaway gecko
Usually animals in lizard family will drop their tails to escape and evade danger or predators. But this newly-discovered gecko takes the escape game into a whole new level. This gecko has scales like fish, and it can shed its skin and scales, slipping away from danger naked.
The scales are large, overlapping, and attached to the skin in one edge. When predators manage to grab the gecko, the scales tear away easily and the gecko breaks free. The scales grow back within weeks. A far more effective way to save life than breaking a body part, don’t you think?
3. Synalpheus pinkfloydi
Notice the band name in this species? This newly discovered shrimp has a pinkish claw that can kill its prey with sound. The shrimp will snap its big claw and create powerful bubbles which implode. That bubbles will stun or kill small fish, and the sound can reach 210 decibels. Louder than a gunshot.
The researchers are big fans of Pink Floyd. They’ve been waiting for an opportunity to name a species after the band. One of them said, ”I often play Pink Floyd as background music while I’m working, but now the band and my work have been happily combined in the scientific literature.”
4. Blue tarantula
— Mongabay (@mongabay) November 24, 2017
During an expedition to Guyana, a Biodiversity Survey Team managed to find more than 30 new species. But nothing beats the beauty of this new tarantula. One of the researcher said that he was going out for a night hike when his flashlight spotted a striking blue color. He thought that the color was eye reflection, but then he realized that it was the legs of a tarantula.
This was the first colored tarantula in South America. Usually, blue tarantulas can only be found in Southeast Asia. Also, this species live in colony, which is a novelty for spider family. As beautiful as it is, this species is not yet named.
5. Vangunu giant rat
In Solomon Islands, locals have told scientists stories about rats that live in the trees and are able to crack open coconuts. The stories had been nothing but unverified claims until recently. Scientists discovered the new species of huge, elusive rat called Vangunu giant rat.
It measures about 46cm from nose to tail and weighs up to 1 kg. The size is almost three to four times larger than a common brown rat. The giant rats were discovered when loggers tried to cut down a tree, and the rat fell down with it.
6. New tiny anteaters
Silky anteaters were originally thought to be one species called Cyclopes Didactylus. But researchers now recognize seven individual species of this cute, tiny anteater. Firstly, the researchers tried to capture all tiny anteaters Central and South America, which took 2 years. Then, to distinguish the species, they measured skull and noted down fur coloration.
And finally, they were able to distinguish the tiny anteaters. The analyses confirmed that the studied anteaters were indeed distinct. The researcher team identified a total of potentially seven different species. Even though the animal is right now in the “least concern” category, one of the researchers said that at least two species faces threats of extinction from deforestation.
7. Eulophophyllum kirki
Con forma de hoja el Eulophophyllum kirki, la nueva especie de saltamontes encontrada en Borneo. pic.twitter.com/UgZP1Ls6KY
— MYT© (@InfoMyT) May 22, 2017
Maybe you’ve actually come across this insect, but you had no idea that it was actually a bug. This master of mimicry was accidentally found in Brunei, when researchers were on the hunt for snakes and spiders in Borneo.
The females, spotted in Malaysian nature reserve, have unique pinkish hue that resembles nearby trees. The seamless leaf-mimicking protects this insect from predators and danger. Really, if we’re not paying attention, we can’t tell whether we’re seeing bugs or leaves.
Unfortunately, scientists couldn’t collect any kind of specimens because they didn’t get collecting permits. The insect was documented well, and it was named after Peter Kirk, the man who took the photograph of this new species.
8. Pheidole viserion and pheidole drogon
Naming new species with pop culture names is getting more common now. These new types of ants are named after dragons in Game of Thrones. The ants are members of Pheidole genus, which is ants with large heads. But the two species have prominent spikes on their backside, just like dragon spikes. That’s why the name Drogon and Viserion is fitting.
P. Viserion and P. Drogon were found in New Guinea, the second-largest island in the world. Now, it’s quite hard to find new ant species, because there are more than 12.000 individual species of ants already. You can find ants in your house, backyard, forest, everywhere except Antarctica. So, finding new species of ants is a pretty cool achievement.
Which new species that you think is the coolest? Or have you encountered one or some animals above? Go ahead and tell us what you think (or what you’ve experienced) in the comments.