16 Rare New Species Found In 2017

1 year ago
From insects, primates and spiders … to scary fruits, weird plants, and dinosaurs … Here are 16 rare new species found in 2017

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#16 Ecuadorian Rain Frog
In the cloud forests of Ecuador is where this brightly colored amphibian was found. Its bright yellow-green coloration contrasted with black stripes likely made it too distinctive for researchers to ignore. Did you know that Ecuador is home to at least 570 species of frog (and counting)? Unfortunately for this species of rain frog, it’s already considered endangered. That due to risk of habitat loss occurring within its small range in the western Ecuadorian Andes.

#15 Churro Worm
Some fuschia colored creatures were discovered off the coast of California around 12,000 feet below the surface. Identified as Xenoturbella (zen-ott-er-bella), four species of these flatworm-like animals were found. Researchers located them on hydrothermal vent, and even on a whale carcass. And since one of the 4-inch specimens resembled churro, the delicious Spanish fried dough pastry, it was christened ‘Xenoturbella Churro’. Did you know these undersea critters might share DNA with humans? Researchers say that if proven, the Churro Worms might be our distant cousins!

#14 Sulawesi Root Rat (soo-lah-WAY-see)
This animal was rooted out in Indonesia, hence its name. Its unique in that it dines on plant or animal matter … most of its relatives are devout meat eaters. And because this rodent likes to feed on roots occasionally, it’s referred to as the Root Rat. They’re identified by a small and slender build, rounded ears, and fur that is usually gray and brown. Part of the shrew rat family, they’re found only on Sulawesi Island.

#13 Jedi of the Jungle (Skywalker Hoolock Gibbon)
Did you know a Star Wars ape was located recently … but it wasn’t found in a galaxy far, far away … and it didn’t look like Chewbacca. This newly described gibbon was discovered east of the Irrawaddy River, in Myanmar (mie-AHN-mahr). Experts say that gibbons east of the river are genetically unique compared to those primates on the west side. So those eastern apes have been designated as a whole new species that belong to the genus (JEE-nus) Hoolock. Evidence suggests that about half a million years ago, they broke off from the other members of that genus. So why was it named after Luke Skywalker? It turns out that the two researchers who spent 5 years collecting information on the critter were huge fans of Star Wars … so it was dubbed the Skywalker Hoolock Gibbon. This new group is distinguished by facial markings and white eyebrows. Unfortunately, it shares something in common with the Rebels in Star Wars … in that they are being hunted and are in risk of becoming extinct. But maybe the Force is with them. News of the discovery attracted a congratulatory Tweet from Luke Skywalker himself … Mark Hamill.

#12 Kingray
Native to the Tocantins River of Brazil, this species of freshwater stingray can weigh more than 40 pounds and measure around 43 inches long. Because of its size and bright coloration, it’s sometimes called the ‘King’ DId you know that there are around 350 species of fish found in the Tocantins (taw-kahn-TEENS) RIver … 35 percent of which are found nowhere else on Earth … and that includes the newly crowned King.

#11 The Ay Caramba! Wasp
An insect was discovered in the Amazon rainforest of Peru that was strange enough to make one say ‘Ay Caramba’, a phrase commonly used to express astonishment. A bizarre new species of wasp astonished scientists because it features what appears to be the head of an ant -- on its rear end. The phrase Ay Caramba came to mind, and it stuck. Found where the rainforest meets the Andes mountains, the dead female specimen was examined by experts at the Lima’s Natural History Museum. It turns out that both the creature’s ovipositor (oh-vuh-POZ-ih-ter) and posterior look like the head of an ant. The ovipositor is an organ shaped like a tube, which females use to lay their eggs. It’s thought that the unusual adaptation might be used as a way for the wasp to attack spider nests and the eggs therein. Some creatures have the ability to mimic the appearance of more aggressive species, such as ants. So the wasp’s ant-like appearance could serve as a way of scaring off spiders.

16 Rare New Species Found In 2017

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