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Klaus Esterluß | Ideas

When a glowing cockroach meets a blue-balled monkey

Each year, on the birthday of Carolus Linneaus (also known as Carl von Linné), who was a great Swedish botanist of the 18th century,  the International Instiute for Species Exploration at the Arizona State University releases a top 10 list of last year’s new discovered species.

Glowing cockroach, photo credit:Wikimedia Commons

2012 must have been a great year for taxonomists (these guys give the new species their names), because the list offers some very special creatures such as a glow-in-the-dark-cockroach, a comb-shaped sponge or the world’s yet smallest frog.

The ten species have been choosen from a list of 140 nominees that have been take from a list of 18.000 named species in 2012. So are they more important then the others? Of course they are not. But they probably are more able to raise public awareness on the biodiversity crisis then others.

See yourself if it works. The scishow on youtube has done a very fast and funny video about that list which is definitly worth a look.

At least the list is a very welcome change in the usual news reports on the eco-system. Not everything here has to be doomy all the time. But, of course, the habitats of the new discovered species are not automaticly secured. Most of them are already threatend and just a few steps away from extinction.

Read those lists where you find them. They are important.

Date

June 24, 2013

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Klaus Esterluß | Ideas

Bizarre but valuable: Top 10-list of new species 2011 draws attention to biodiversity

Short time ago the International Institute for Species Exploration at Arizona State University anounced their picks for the top 10 new species described in 2011. It’s the fifth time in a row that attention-grabbing species have been nominated to open the world’s eyes for “the biodiversity crisis and the unsung species explorers and museums who continue a 250-year tradition of discovering and describing the millions of kinds of plants, animals and microbes with whom we share this planet,” as Quentin Wheeler, an entomologist who directs the International Institute for Species Exploration at ASU, said.
When you have a look at the gallery below you will have to admit that this year’s list is quite exquisit. It’s members come from Brazil, Myanmar, the Dutch Caribbean, South Africa, Papua New Guinea, Spain, Borneo, Nepal, China and Tanzania. You will find a  sneezing monkey there, a beautiful but venomous jellyfish, an underworld worm and a fungus named for a popular TV cartoon character.

The nominations had to be “species that capture our attention because they are unusual or because they have traits that are bizarre,” said Mary Liz Jameson, an associate professor at Wichita State University who chaired the international selection committee.  At the institute’s website you will also find a Google world map that pinpoints the location for each of the top 10 new species.

Date

May 31, 2012

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