A list has been put together by an international committee of taxonomists naming the top ten newly discovered species for 2010. This list included the likes of glowing mushrooms that emit a bright yellow-green light, a pancake batfish, a West African antelope and a rust eating bacterium found on the wreck of the Titanic.
The top ten list did however include a few more familiar friends…
• Saltoblattella montistabularist- a jumping cockroach with the power of a grasshopper. Prior to this discovery, jumping cockroaches were last believed to have existed 150 million years ago.
• Tyrannobdella rex – a new species of leech which is about 5cm in length with enormous teeth. This leech was actually discovered in Peru up the nose of a person. At present scientists are aware of approximately 700 leech species but believe thousands of other species actually exist.
• Glomeremus orchidopilus – The only cricket or grasshopper species that is known to pollinate a flower, found on the island of reunion.
• Varanus bitatawa – At almost 2 meters long this fruit eating lizard was found in the Philippines.
• Caerostris darwini – also known as Darwin’s bark spider, was discovered in Madagascar. This creature is capable of producing silk twice as strong as previously thought possible by a spider and building webs up to 25 meters long.
I don’t know about you, but the thought of many of these creatures is terrifying, I certainly wouldn’t fancy coming across the Caerostris Darwini! The idea that a new species of leech was discovered up somebody’s nose, and that we were previously unaware of a 2 meter long fruit eating lizard is astounding. Apparently there were thousands of new species discovered last year, but these ones were the top picks. It is estimated that about 10 million species still remain unidentified worldwide, so who knows what the top 10 will involve next year… I look forward to the results.