Happy Earth Day! Let’s explore some of the positive developments in our ever-fascinating world.
Mass extinction is an ongoing threat to many species on our planet. It is a serious and tragic issue. Ironically, we are also discovering new species every year. By one count, in 2006, more than 18,000 species were newly described by scientists.
A literature search revealed at least 70 new species discovered so far this year, including:
- Waray Dwarf Burrowing Snake (Levitonius mirus) was discovered in the Philippines.
- A new species of bat (Myotis) with black and yellow/orange wings was found in the Nimba Mountains of West Africa.
- A previously misidentified lichen has been reclassified as the new Cora timucua. It was previously found in Florida but may be already extinct.
- Almost 60 new lichens in the genus Leptogium from East Africa, including Mt. Kasigau in Kenya and Mt. Kilimanjaro in Tanzania, have been identified.
- A new chameleon (Trioceros wolfgangboehmei) was discovered on the slopes of the Bale Mountains in Ethiopia.
Each year, the International Institute for Species Exploration publishes a list of the most unusual new species. Maybe one of these will make the list. My bet is on the colorful new bat.
Florida lichen – https://bioone.org/journals/the-bryologist/volume-123/issue-4/0007-2745-123.4.657/Cora-timucua-Hygrophoraceae-a-new-and-potentially-extinct-previously-misidentified/10.1639/0007-2745-123.4.657.short
East Africa lichen – https://www.mdpi.com/2076-2607/9/2/314
Chameleon – https://zse.pensoft.net/article/57297/