Monkeys that sneeze in the rain, orchids that bloom at night, and a mushroom named after SpongeBob SquarePants, arejust a few of the new species on Arizona State University annual Top 10 New Species list on Wednesday.
The list, which has been released every year for the last five year, helps show how much biodiversity exists in the world.
Quentin Wheeler, director of ASU’s International Institute for Species Exploration, told the Daily News.
“We’re trying to draw attention to diversity, trying to make people aware of how little we know about species… There’s growing popularity for the idea of making sure we have sustainable biodiversity. We’re trying to bring attention to the science of taxonomy.”
The NY Daily News reports that close to 18,000 species were discovered in 2011. Two hundred of those were nominated for the top 10 new species list, which is comprised of mammals, plants, and bugs.
“All plants, animals, fossils, everything — the only criteria is that they have to have been officially described within the prior calendar year.”
Wheeler said that every year thousands of new species are discovered and he doesn’t expect the pace to slow down. The devil’s worm, for instance, was found miles below the surface of the earth. Wheeler said:
“I don’t think anyone suspected a multicellular organism to be living that deep in the Earth. It makes you wonder what else is out there. The biosphere is a lot bigger than we think it is.”
Bonaire banded box Jelly
Nepalese autumn poppy
Spongebob Squarepants mushroom