(ORDO NEWS) — Scientists from the California Academy of Sciences have discovered 146 new species of animals, plants and fungi on six continents and three oceans this year, MIR24 reports with reference to ZooKeys.
The list was replenished with 44 lizards, 30 ants, 14 sea slugs, 14 flowering plants, 13 starfish, seven fish, four beetles, four sharks, three moths, three types of worms, two scorpions, two spiders, two lichens, and one toad, shellfish, aphids and sea urchins.
“The study of new species is critical to understanding the diversity of life on Earth and identifying the ecosystems most in need of protection,” said Shannon Bennett, academy virologist and head of science.
Academy researcher Aaron Bauer said that 28 new species of geckos to the genus Bavayia have been identified, thanks to the discovery, the number of species has almost doubled and increased from 13 to 41.
The population of these creatures lives in New Caledonia. Outwardly, they look similar, but genetic analysis has shown important differences.
The study showed that almost every mountain in New Caledonia is inhabited by a separate species of gecko.
Also, 14 sea slugs new to science were discovered in the Indo-Pacific region.
The largest of them was Goniobranchus fabulus 1.5 cm long, whose name translates as “little bean”, while it is the largest species of sea slugs. The size of other species did not exceed a few millimeters.
New species of flowering plants have been identified in the mountainous region of Campo Rupestre in Brazil.
The region is characterized by extreme temperatures, strong winds and poor, almost nutrient-free soil.
The landscape looks almost lifeless, but nevertheless, scientists continue to discover previously unknown species of flora there.
Two scorpions new to science have been spotted at the bottom of dry salt lakes in Central and Southern California.
Interestingly, the discovery was made by local schoolchildren with the support of a curator from the Academy of Sciences.
The scientists noted that many of the species they found could only survive in a specific geographic region. They are vulnerable to climate change and human activities and therefore require special protection.
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