> >New species of animals discovered in 2017
The living world of the Earth is incredibly diverse: every year, scientists find thousands of previously unknown creatures — only in the rain forests of the Amazon region do new species find themselves every two days. 2017 is no exception - the discoveries of this year are not inferior to the wildest fantasies.
Woody rat, Solomon Islands
The mysterious creature literally materialized from local fairy tales and myths: the inhabitants of the island of Wangun often told scientists about the huge rodent vetch who splits coconuts with his teeth. And only recently managed to catch an unusual animal, fleeing from a felled tree. DNA analysis confirmed - this is a completely new look.
The animal is four times the size of an ordinary gray rat: its weight reaches a kilogram, and the length from the nose to the tip of the tail is up to half a meter. Biologists suggest that the giant rat Wangunu lives in trees, feeds on nuts and fruits, and makes holes in coconuts to achieve pulp and juice.It is very difficult to find these rodents - they hide in dense crowns and are nocturnal. Immediately after the discovery, the species was attributed to rare: due to the deforestation of tropical forests, the animal is on the verge of extinction.
The Trump Mole, USA
This mole cannot be called inconspicuous: its wings are decorated with yellow spots and the head with yellowish-white scales, which reminded the entomologist Vazrik Nazari the hairstyle of the 45th American President. In honor of him, the discoverer named the insect: Neopalpa donaldtrumpi. Almost all members of the family of crustacelated moths live only in North America, and a new species is common on the islands off the coast of California.
There is also a political subtext in the title: Nazari hopes that it will draw the attention of the authorities to the environmental problems of the region - climate change and urbanization have put the local fauna at risk of extinction.
Sunfish, Pacific Ocean
The largest bone fish was found off the coast of New Zealand - it grows up to 4 m in length and weighs more than 2 tons. The discovery was made by an Australian student - Marianne Niegard began searching for the elusive sea animal, noting the genetic differences of 150 samples of solar fish.Research lasted four years, and as a result a new species was found - Mola tecta.
Despite its size, it’s not easy to see a solar fish: it leads a solitary lifestyle and prefers hard-to-reach areas of the ocean. In search of food, giant creatures dive to a depth of 100 m, and rise to the surface only in order to bask in the sun - for this they got their name.
Height 15 cm, weight 150 g - to see such a small creature in the tropical jungle is not easy. Yet biologists have discovered two new species of miniature primates on the island of Sulawesi. The tarsiers look almost the same: huge eyes, long hind legs and a round head that rotates 180 °.
Animals communicate using ultrasound - they scream at frequencies of about 70 kHz, and the unequal tonality of these screams has allowed scientists to attribute new tarsiers to two different species. Cute fluffies are not as defenseless as they seem: they can jump a distance 40 times their body length, move quickly through the branches with their tenacious fingers, hunt insects, lizards, rodents and even small birds.
Snapping shrimp, pacific ocean
Synalpheus pinkfloydi - such an unusual name, this crustacean owes its pink-red claw. Because of its characteristic color, shrimp was named after the rock band Pink Floyd, the idols of the scientist Sammy De Grave, who discovered a new look.
An asymmetric limb the size of half a body is a dangerous weapon. Having noticed the victim, the shrimp clicks its claws and “shoots” with a stream of water, which moves under great pressure and creates a cavitation bubble. When he collapses, he stuns or kills small fish: the power of the resulting sound wave reaches 190 dB - as if from a supersonic plane.
Mini-frogs without membranes, India
Frog-sized frogs were found in the forests of India - their length ranges from 12 to 38 mm. Biologists have been searching for amphibians for five years and have found it with great difficulty: tiny animals hide under a thick layer of fallen leaves and scream like insects.
Unlike their larger relatives living near the water, four new species of nocturnal frogs inhabit the wooded foothills of the Western Ghats ridge. Scientists believe that their modest size and the absence of membranes between the fingers - the result of adaptation to the terrestrial lifestyle.The region where they found frogs is notable for its huge biological diversity - over the past 15 years, 159 new species of amphibians have been discovered here.
Darwin Reels, Galapagos Islands
Evolution cannot be stopped: right now a new species of bird is forming in the Galapagos Islands - Darwinian finches. The process of speciation began 36 years ago, when a male cacti earthen finch arrived on Daphne Major Island. He was unable to return to his native island, located 100 km from the Galapagos, and interbreed with females of the local species - the average earthen finch. As a result, nestlings capable of breeding appeared, which is not typical for hybrids.
From other finches new birds distinguishes singing and the shape of the beak. The first generation could not find a mate among local birds - females do not recognize their songs. Therefore, the birds mated with each other, reinforcing the distinctive features. So in just two generations, a completely new species of finches was formed on the island, which now numbers 30 individuals. It is not yet known whether the newcomers will be able to remain in nature for a long time.
Ghost Shark, Atlantic Ocean
The bulky head, fins, wings and rabbit teeth are a true sea monster discovered by Californian biologists in the ocean depths between South Africa and Antarctica. This is a new kind of ghost shark, which scientists refer to the squad with the speaking name of Chimera. And the Latin generic name Hydrolagus ("water hare"), these fish received because of the unusual teeth, with which they open the shells of crabs and other crustaceans. The name "ghost shark" is largely conditional: the hydrolags are not sharks, rather they are distant relatives of sharks and stingrays. The view, opened this year, does not look like its kindred. The new chimera is larger, much darker and has a number of differences in the structure of the body: the head is very large, and the torso narrows to a threadlike tail. This is the second largest species of ghost shark.
Mosquitoes-attendants, Costa Rica
Mosquitoes that do not bite anyone - it happens. Scientists have discovered five new species of harmless insects in the tropical rain forests of Costa Rica and Colombia. The length of mosquitoes is only 2 mm. They actively reproduce due to the hot and humid climate, do not drink the blood of humans and animals, and do not spread the disease.In addition, small forest orderlies are of great benefit - their larvae feed on the remnants of decaying organisms.
The largest discovery of the year - 19 new species of geckos in Indochina. Such a number of reptiles immediately did not find one before. Lizards live in a relatively small area measuring 90 by 50 km. According to researchers, the unique species diversity is associated with an unusual landscape of the area. This is a lowland covered with limestone blocks up to 400 m high. Their surface is riddled with folds and caves. These blocks became peculiar evolutionary islands where isolated geckos developed into separate species. For example, lizards living on limestone massifs have longer legs and fingers and thinner bodies than those living below. Most of the creatures found belong to two genus: squatting and dwarf geckos.