Well, waking up today I wanted to present a list of species discovered since the year 2000. I wanted to show that the naturalists job is by no means done, that new species are discovered constantly. There is an air amongst many people that the last great frontiers have been explored. That all has been seen, everything to do has been done.
While in some respects, this is true, in many ways this is an unfounded opinion. Yes, it is unlikely for us to find any large mammals in our own backyards. Bigfoot is not hiding in Seattle. There are no North American elephants. However, smaller species can more easily evade detection, especially if they live in remote areas such as jungles, tundras, or under the waves. So I wanted to take a little time to show that even now, we are still finding new life. I wanted to list everything new under the sun.
I vastly underestimated how long this post would be. I mean, there are 49 new species of bats alone.
A single study in the deep ocean turned up over 5,600 previously unknown species. Three different species of whale were discovered. Both a newt and a sea slug were turned up that photosynthesize like plants. Over the past ten years over one-thousand new animals and plants were discovered in Southeast Asia, including the Pink Dragon millipede.
The time and effort to document these new discoveries alone would be worth a blog unto itself. So I’ll simply point you at the blog Free Your Imagination which is dedicated to these new animals and plants.