A glow-in-the-dark cockroach, a harp-shaped carnivorous sponge, and a monkey with “human-like eyes”: these were some of the new species that earned the distinction of being one of the top 10 discovered in 2012.
This morning, on the birthday of Carolus Linnaeus, the father of taxonomy, the International Institute for Species Exploration at Arizona State University released its annual list, chosen by an international committee from over 140 nominations. They hope it will help put a priority on exploring biodiversity. The winners were chosen for their unexpected features, rarity, and significance to humans.
Some more highlights:
- A black fungus that became a nuisance when it broke out on the walls of France’s Lascaux Cave, famous for its ancient cave art
- The world’s smallest vertebrate, a frog from Papua, New Guinea that can be as tiny as 7 millimeters
- A luminescent cockroach from Ecuador
- A green lacewing butterfly that was identified as a new species when someone posted a photo of it on Flickr
See the full list of winners.