You might think that the discovery of a new species is a rare occasion, but it happens with stunning regularity: about 18,000 times a year. An estimated two million species are currently known to science, but millions more remain to be found.
Unfortunately, scientists may be running out of time to uncover them. We’re in the midst of a mass extinction, losing species and valuable knowledge about them at an alarming rate.
The International Institute for Species Exploration at the SUNY College of Environmental Science is dedicated to raising awareness of this issue. It publishes a top 10 list to highlight some of the most fascinating new species described each year.
For biologists, discovering and naming a new species is a big deal. It’s a chance to not only add to a growing body of knowledge, but to also leave a personal mark. Scientists are just as quirky as the rest of us. Strap on your lab goggles and see if you can figure out what they were thinking when they dubbed these 10 recently-discovered species.