Discoveries of New Species

Macaca Monkey in India

                                                     Picture from

Record Number of New Species Discovered in 2005

Record Number of New Species

When a new species is discovered, scientists are usually happy. This year they must be feeling positively gleeful. Scientists estimate that approximately 20,000 new species will be discovered this year.

A Reason for Discovery

That is not all good news. One of the reasons for this flood of new discoveries is the loss of habitat of these animals. Melting sea ice and disappearing rain forest have made the discoveries easier, but it means that the animals are probably in severe danger of extinction. Scientists may find new species only to have them disappear.

DNA Testing

Another reason for new discoveries of species is DNA testing. It can give a clearer picture of the differences between species than a purely physical

continued in next column

 examination can do. Two species that look identical can have very different DNA making them separate species.


All these newly discovered animals have made it difficult to keep track of them and to name them. A new web-based data system has been developed called ZooBank that will help scientists know what others have found.

What is a New Species?

While we say that these species are "new," it does not mean that they have just appeared like a new toy. It means that scientists just did not know about them. The species may have been living for a long time; but scientists have just discovered them.


 McKie, Robin and Corbyn, Zoe.
"Record haul of 20,000 new species expected," UK Observer . London: Sunday, September 25, 2005.



Below are some recently discovered species:

In Madagascar

bullet New Lemur Species  
bulletGoogle Ant on AntWeb

In the Arctic

bullet Expedition in the Arctic Finds New Species of Sea Animals Pinky

             Picture from NOAA Ocean Explorer Internet Website

In Vietnam

bulletNew Species of Mammals First to Be Discovered in Years

In India

bullet macaca munzala (Arunachal Macaque)

Great Barrier Reef /Australia  (Snubfin Dolphin)

For picture source, see article below.

New species of dolphin found in Australia

In Indonesia

Hobbit-Like Human Picture Gallery: Photo of floresiensis and sapien skulls

bullet Homo floresiensis (For picture source, see article)

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