AlthoughÂ we’veÂ been on this planet for quite some time, there are still new creatures being discovered on a regular basis. In fact, the College of Environmental Science and Forestry has recently composedÂ a list of about 18,000 newly discovered speciesÂ discovered over the past year.
In honor of their discoveries, the researchers typically release a “Top 10” list each May to align with the birthday of Swedish botanist, Carolus Linnaeus (the “Father of Taxonomy”). This tradition has been going on since 2008, and this year, there are certainly more than a few that you need to read aboutÂ to believe. Here are five of the most interesting species from the 2015 list.
1. The Cartwheeling Spider
Yep, that’s right — a spider that can cartwheel like a gymnast. But the cebrennus rechenbergiÂ doesn’t do it to attack you. It cartwheels when it needs to speed away from predators in the Moroccan desert.
2. Indonesian Frog
The limnonectes larvaepartusÂ might seem pretty average, but consider its procreationÂ process. The Indonesian frog gives birth to tadpoles in the water, rather than laying fertilized eggs. This makes it the first frog to do so out of more than 6,455 species around the world.
3. Sea Slug
The phyllodesmium acanthorhinumÂ can be found off the coast of Japan, and it glows in beautiful shades of blue, gold and red. Researchers believe that it could be the missing link between sea slugs that eat hydroids and ones that feed on coral.
4. The Dancing Puffer Fish
This fish, known as theÂ torquigener albomaculosus,Â can create unique, eye-catching designs on the ocean floor by “dancing (or wiggling)” in circles. Many of these designs span up to two meters in width, and they aren’t all for nothing — it’s a mating ritual that the males conduct to attract females.
5. The Feathered Dinosaur
Can an extinct creature still count? Researchers say yes, and theÂ anzu wylieiÂ is officially on the list.Â Known as the”chicken from hell,” this dinosaur used to have many bird-like features, including feathers. Skeletons have been found in North and South Dakota, confirming its parrot-like beak and hollow bones.
Of course, it’s a little hard to pick just fiveÂ creatures to highlight, especially when you know there are 18,000 more out there worth exhibiting in great length. Nonetheless, it’s still worth looking at some of the many species that also call our planet home.
And if this isn’t enough for you, don’t worry — there is still plenty left to be discovered.
“We have only begun to explore the astonishing origin, history and diversity of life,” Quentin Wheeler, ESF president, told CTV News.
- Legate-Wolfe, Amy. “Top ten newly-discovered species include cartwheeling spider, beautiful slug.” CTV News. May 21, 2015.