This is an exciting day for a comparative physiologist! I just received word from a reader that the top 10 newly discovered species of 2011 have been chosen. This is an annual “contest” put on by the International Institute for Species Exploration at Arizona State University along with an international committee of taxonomists.
The winners, in no particular order, are:
1. Darwin’s Bark Spider (Caerostris darwini) that weaves orb webs large enough to span rivers:
7. T. Rex leech (Tyrannobdella rex). I am not sure you want to know how this one was discovered. Okay I’ll tell you…it was discovered feeding from the nasal mucous membrane of a young girl in Peru. Who knew there was a booger & blood-eating leech? It must have just taken a wrong turn on its way to finding a meal.
9. Leaproach (Saltoblattella montistabularis). Reportedly the only modern species of cockroach that has an ability to jump similar to a grasshopper. Prior to its discovery, the last known example of a jumping cockroach was in the Late Jurassic.
For more information about each species including where they were discovered, visit the Arizona State University’s International Institute for Species Exploration.
All images were from the Arizona State University’s IISE website.