Between six ferns: New tropical fern species described by science

Danaea alansmithii Colombia, Amazonas, Río Caquetá. PHOTO: HANNA TUOMISTOResearchers have described six species of ferns new to science from the tropical forests of Panama, Colombia, Ecuador and Peru, all in the genus Danaea. “The described species are no tiny or unnoticeable creatures. They range from 20cm to 2m tall” — from 8-79 inches — “and some of them are very common locally,” Janina Keskiniva, […]

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Pandemic hit the pause button on the discoveries of new species

Smithsonian Museum field workIn November 2011, when a pregnant beaked whale drifted ashore on New Zealand’s Waiatoto Spit, Ramari Stewart, an Indigenous whale watcher, noticed that the whale looked slightly different to those usually stranded. It measured about 5 meters (17 feet) long, and after its skeleton was prepared and featured in the National Museum of New Zealand, […]

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Spectacular new fish species is first to be named by Maldivian scientist

Out in the azure waters and colorful corals of the Maldives, a resplendent, rainbow-hued fish has become the first to be named and described by a Maldivian researcher. New to science, the rose-veiled fairy wrasse (Cirrhilabrus finifenmaa) is named in the local Dhivehi language. Finifenmaa means “rose” and is a tribute to the islands’ pink-hued […]

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In Panama, a tiny rainfrog named after Greta Thunberg endures

Up in the trees of a misty sky island, folded into the foliage, a tiny rainfrog bears the name of a climate giant. The new-to-science species, found on a mountain in Panama, has been named after climate activist Greta Thunberg. Greta Thunberg’s rainfrogs (Pristimantis gretathunbergae) are minuscule (about 3 to 4 centimeters or 1.1 to […]

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Top 15 species discoveries from 2021 (Photos)

With humans sending probes to explore Mars and the sun, one might think we’ve already explored the full extent of our own planet. But scientists say we’ve only begun to find and describe the riches here on Earth. “I think most people believe that we know most species on Earth … but in the best-case […]

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New Himalayan snake found via Instagram

Researchers have found a snake species never before described by science — on Instagram! During the COVID-19 lockdowns in India, Virendar Bhardwaj, a master’s student at Guru Nanak Dev University, Amritsar, was home in Chamba, a six-hour drive away at the foot of the Himalayas. While exploring his own backyard, Bhardwaj began photographing the snakes, […]

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