I don’t know about you, but I am not terribly surprised when a new species is discovered in the depths of the ocean or a new insect is found in some corner of the earth that is sparsely visited. However, I was truly surprised when I read that a new species of mammal may have been identified in Kenya.
The Taita tree hyrax was discovered by a group of researchers from the University of Helsinki during a study of vocalizations of nocturnal animals.
To read more this incredible find, here is the link:
There is also a great photo of the hyrax (I could have sworn that those only existed in Dr. Seuss’s stories) by @HannaRosti there as well. Congrats to the team on a really cool finding!
In other news, ground-breaking work conducted by an international collaboration of researchers suggests that the evolution of tropical species form faster in harsh species-poor locations, then accumulate in more moderate areas to create hotspots of diversity. This is a departure from some previous assumptions about species evolution.
The years of study and the number of species included in this work are substantial. These results are published in Science, the December 11, 2020 issue.
If you don’t have access to the article, here is a nice summary from the University of Tennessee, Knoxville, where Dr. Elizabeth Derryberry, the senior author of this work, has her lab.