Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

An international team of taxonomists present the Top 10 most surprising species discovered in 2007

02.06.2008
Each year the scientific community identifies around 17,000 new animals and plants. To attract people's attention on the discovery of species, a key for their evolution, survival and conservation, an international committee of experts has just published a list of the 10 most curious and surprising species described in 2007.

Of all living or extinct animal and plant species, discovered on the Earth in 2007, only ten have been selected for a Top 10 presented on the 23 May on the occasion of the anniversary of the birth of Carlos Linneo, initiator of the species classification and naming system. 2008 also marks the 250th anniversary of the start of animal identification.


In the photo, the ten species selected by the experts. From top to bottom: electric ray (Electrolux addisoni), remains of the duck-billed dinosaur (Gryposaurus monumentensis), pink millipede (Desmoxytes purpurosea), exotic frog (Philautus maia), venomous snake (Oxyuranus temporalis), fruit eating bat (styloctenium mindorensis), Xerocomus silwoodensis mushroom, “Malo kingi” jellyfish, rhinoceros beetle (Megaceras briansaltini) and the Michelin plant (Tecticornia bibenda).

In the list prepared each year by the International Institute for Species Exploration (IISE) at the Arizona State University (USA), in first place is an electric ray, Electrolux addisoni, whose name reflects the “vigorous action of hoovering as a method of feeding”, according to experts. Discovered on the east coast of South Africa, this peculiar ray “could compete with the well-known function of the hoover for hoovering, in its case, the ocean floor”.

The list also includes a duck-billed dinosaur, Gryposaurus monumentensis, which dates back around 75 million years and was discovered in the southeast corner of the US state of Utah by a team from the Alf Museum of Palaeontology (California). In the plant kingdom, scientists have included a plant similar in appearance to the Michelin man, Tecticornia bibenda, a “tasty” plant from Western Australia.

... more about:
»IISE »SOS »committee »species »taxonomist

In the art imitation category is “Dim”, the rhinoceros beetle, Megaceras briansaltini, which according to scientists looks like the character Dim from the Disney film “Bugs”. There is also a pink millipede, a strange frog, one of the most venomous snakes in the world, a bat that eats fruit, a mushroom and a jellyfish with the name of its victim “Malo Kingi”.

“The international committee of experts on taxonomy which has chosen the Top 10 from thousands of species discovered in 2007 aims to attract people's attention on biodiversity, taxonomy and the importance of natural history museums and botanic gardens in a fun way”, explained Quentin Wheeler, entomologist and director of the IISE.

Participating taxonomists took the opportunity of the announcement of the top 10 to issue an alert through an SOS Report on the state of species observed on the Earth. A total of 16,969 species were discovered and described in 2006, with an average of 50 species a day. Most of them are invertebrates and vascular plants which, in line with the SOS Report, are the result of work in recent years and partly reflect “our profound ignorance of many species that have the richest taxonomy on the planet”, declared the researchers.

According to the authors of the SOS Report, “there are many reasons why scientists explore species living on the Earth: to discover and document the results of the history of evolution, learn which species depend on ecosystems for surviving, establish a basic knowledge of species on the planet and their distribution for detecting colonisations of invading species or disease vectors, reporting on and allowing biological conservation and resource management”.

Limited knowledge of terrestrial species

“We are living in exciting times. A new generation of tools are appearing on the Internet that will make it possible to greatly accelerate the number of species discovered and described each year”, Wheeler indicated to SINC. “Most people do not realise how incomplete our knowledge is of terrestrial species, nor the level to which taxonomists are exploring biodiversity”.

Around 1.8 million species have been described since Linneo introduced modern systems for identifying plants and animals in the 18th century. Scientists estimate that there are between 2 and 100 million species on the planet, although many put this figure at around 10 million.

“We are surrounded by such an exuberant diversity of species that we too often take this for granted. Monitoring species around the world and their unique attributes are essential parts for understanding the history of life, since we are facing the challenge of living on a rapidly changing planet”, Wheeler asserted. For the taxonomist, it is still more important to discover species that live on our planet before those that might exist outside of it, although he admits that “the diversity of extraterrestrial life does appear to be more eye-catching”.

Composition of committee of experts

The International Committee of Experts was headed by Janine Caira, from the University of Connecticut. Nominations were prepared through the University of Arizona’s webpage by IISE personnel and committee members.

Caira’s committee was free to choose and develop its own criteria based on the unique attributes of the species and events that occurred during their identification. Committee members included the University of Kansas (USA), the Royal Botanic Gardens in England, the Natural History Museum in London and the Natural Science Museum in Madrid. There were in total almost 15 centres from different countries.

The SOS Report has been compiled by the IISE with the help of the International Commission on Zoological Nomenclature, the International Plant Names Index and Thompson Scientific, publisher of Zoological Record.

SINC Team | alfa
Further information:
http://www.plataformasinc.es

Further reports about: IISE SOS committee species taxonomist

More articles from Life Sciences:

nachricht Warming ponds could accelerate climate change
21.02.2017 | University of Exeter

nachricht An alternative to opioids? Compound from marine snail is potent pain reliever
21.02.2017 | University of Utah

All articles from Life Sciences >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

Die letzten 5 Focus-News des innovations-reports im Überblick:

Im Focus: Breakthrough with a chain of gold atoms

In the field of nanoscience, an international team of physicists with participants from Konstanz has achieved a breakthrough in understanding heat transport

In the field of nanoscience, an international team of physicists with participants from Konstanz has achieved a breakthrough in understanding heat transport

Im Focus: DNA repair: a new letter in the cell alphabet

Results reveal how discoveries may be hidden in scientific “blind spots”

Cells need to repair damaged DNA in our genes to prevent the development of cancer and other diseases. Our cells therefore activate and send “repair-proteins”...

Im Focus: Dresdner scientists print tomorrow’s world

The Fraunhofer IWS Dresden and Technische Universität Dresden inaugurated their jointly operated Center for Additive Manufacturing Dresden (AMCD) with a festive ceremony on February 7, 2017. Scientists from various disciplines perform research on materials, additive manufacturing processes and innovative technologies, which build up components in a layer by layer process. This technology opens up new horizons for component design and combinations of functions. For example during fabrication, electrical conductors and sensors are already able to be additively manufactured into components. They provide information about stress conditions of a product during operation.

The 3D-printing technology, or additive manufacturing as it is often called, has long made the step out of scientific research laboratories into industrial...

Im Focus: Mimicking nature's cellular architectures via 3-D printing

Research offers new level of control over the structure of 3-D printed materials

Nature does amazing things with limited design materials. Grass, for example, can support its own weight, resist strong wind loads, and recover after being...

Im Focus: Three Magnetic States for Each Hole

Nanometer-scale magnetic perforated grids could create new possibilities for computing. Together with international colleagues, scientists from the Helmholtz Zentrum Dresden-Rossendorf (HZDR) have shown how a cobalt grid can be reliably programmed at room temperature. In addition they discovered that for every hole ("antidot") three magnetic states can be configured. The results have been published in the journal "Scientific Reports".

Physicist Dr. Rantej Bali from the HZDR, together with scientists from Singapore and Australia, designed a special grid structure in a thin layer of cobalt in...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

Event News

Booth and panel discussion – The Lindau Nobel Laureate Meetings at the AAAS 2017 Annual Meeting

13.02.2017 | Event News

Complex Loading versus Hidden Reserves

10.02.2017 | Event News

International Conference on Crystal Growth in Freiburg

09.02.2017 | Event News

 
Latest News

Impacts of mass coral die-off on Indian Ocean reefs revealed

21.02.2017 | Earth Sciences

Novel breast tomosynthesis technique reduces screening recall rate

21.02.2017 | Medical Engineering

Use your Voice – and Smart Homes will “LISTEN”

21.02.2017 | Trade Fair News

VideoLinks
B2B-VideoLinks
More VideoLinks >>>