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article imageTiny seahorse among 10 newly discovered species

By M Dee Dubroff     May 25, 2009 in Environment
According to a committee of international scientists, ten new species have been discovered, including a pea-sized seahorse, a ghost worm and the world’s smallest snake (4.1 inches).
News sources claim that according to the International Institute for Species Exploration at Arizona State University, the species on the new top ten list were compiled from thousands found across the globe in the last year. Honorable mention among fish and fauna must also go to a caffeine-free coffee plant from the Cameroons, a deep blue damsel fish, the world’s longest insect that hails from Borneo and looks like a twig at its deepest stretch which is 22.3 inches, a gigantic palm from Madagascar that flowers itself to death and a bacteria found by Japanese scientists that lives in hairspray!
In the words of Quentin Wheeler, an entomologist and director of the International Institute for species Exploration at Arizona State University:
“Charting the species of the world and their unique attributes are essential parts of understanding the history of life. It is in our own self-interest as we face the challenges of living on a rapidly changing planet.”
The tiny seahorse, also known as Hippocampus satomiae, measures 0.54 inches wide with a height of 0.45 inches). (The name is longer than the creature.) This pygmy species was found in Indonesia near Derawan island and its name, satomiae, derives from Satomi Onishi who was the diver who collected the specimens. Barbados is the land that claims the world’s smallest snake that has been dubbed the Barbados Threadsnake. The ghost worm was found in Cardiff, wales and is eerily pale in color; hence its moniker and the damselfish was discovered among deep reefs off the coast of Ngemelis Island.
The top ten species list commemorated the 300th anniversary of the birth of Swedish scientist, Carolus Linnaeus, who was the inventor of the modern system of plant and animal names and classifications. Scientists claim there are an estimated 1.8 million species that have been described since Linnaeus’s day and that there are possibly between 2 and 100 million species on earth, although most believe the number to be closer to 10 million.
Perhaps your weird next- door neighbor is a new species? Tread carefully and…sleep well.
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