Check out this cute little critter! It is known to inhabit water around the northern Great Barrier Reef to the southern islands of Japan. It likes clear water near coral reefs whereas the 3 other species of the genus prefer the mud bottom of estuaries.
Previously, it’s been confused with E. belissimus, a close cousin. Researchers Gerald Allen of Australia and John Randell of HI, USA set us straight with their paper, Exyrias akihito, a new species of coral-reef goby (Gobiidae) from the western pacific, [pdf] published in The Raffles Bulletin of Zoology.
E. akihito was named after the Emperor of Japan. The Emperor doubles as an ichthyologist and has written many papers and books on gobies!
A new species of bird was found in Myanmar (aka Burma) during a joint Myanmar-United States expedition last year. The new species was formally named Jabouilleia naungmungensis after the town near where it was found. The common name is Naung Mung Scimitar-Babbler.
The Myanmar Times has a nice article on the discovery, New Bird Species Announced.
The researchers’ paper was published in The Auk. Unfortunately, it’s not freely available online. However, you may be able to access it via your library if it subscribes to BioOne. The Abstract can be found here, A New Species of Scimitar-Babbler (Timaliidae: Jabouilleia) from the Sub-Himalayan Region of Myanmar.
Dr. John Lundberg of the Philadelphia Academy of Natural Sciences and a team of researchers from Mexico and the U.S. have discovered a new, rarely seen species of catfish representing an entirely new taxonomic family.
The rare find marks only the third new family of fish found in the last 60+ years. It is the 37th family of catfishes.
Researchers named the new family Lacantuniidae. The name comes from the fish’s habitat in the Lacantún river of the southern Chiapas state in Mexico. It is commonly fished by local people who call it “madre de juil” meaning “mother of Rhamdia,” another local catfish.
The species name L. enigmatica is Latin for baffling or inexplicable in reference to the unexpected discovery, obscure relationships and origin of the new catfish. The researchers also suggested the common name “Chiapas Catfish”.
Lundberg, the Academy’s Curator of Ichthyology, said only about 30 of the fish have been found since the 1990s and only one specimen was collected in a recent five-day expedition. “This find reminds us that the most basic scientific inventory of Earth’s biodiversity is woefully incomplete.” Lundberg said.
Anatomical studies aided by high-resolution computer images allowed researchers to pinpoint key differences from other species in the bone structure of the skull, the shape of the air bladder and the articulation of the barbel (the part that resembles a cat’s whisker).
“Realizing now that the Chiapas catfish is highly unusual, it is critical that we learn the details of its diet and habitat requirements and reproductive biology,” Lundberg said. “This will require a focused study of the species in its natural habitat.”
That habitat is of concern to researchers, however. The fish was found in and around Montes Azules, a jungle reserve in a region threatened by logging, expansion of agriculture, cattle ranching, and the damming of rivers.
The researchers’ full scientific report can be found here: Lacantunia enigmatica (Teleostei: Siluriformes) a new and phylogenetically puzzling freshwater fish from Mesoamerica [pdf]
Did You Know: Nearly 3,000 species of catfishes are known and scientists estimate another 1,000 or more remain to be discovered and scientifically described.
Almost everyone knows a Palm tree when they see one, but would you know a new species if you came accross it? Botonist, Raúl Verdecia, proves that he does and has announced his discovery of the Coccothrinax torrida.
The name Torrida comes from Latin, torrid or torridus, because of the extremely hot temperatures where this palm lives.
(photo by Carlo Morici)
DID YOU KNOW: Coccotrinax palms are the largest palm genus of the Caribbean, and most are found in Cuba.
Family: Arecaceae (aka Palmae)
How long was it? Researchers estimate Erketu ellisoni’s neck to be around 24 feet long. Twice the size of its body!
It doesn’t have the longest neck. That record belongs to another sauropod, Mamenchisauris hochuanensis, which had a neck length estimated at 49 feet! However, E. ellisoni may now hold the record for the longest neck to body ratio.
Nature’s article, Heads up: the dinosaur with the longest neck, gives a nice summary. But if you are feeling ambitious you can read researchers, Daniel Ksepka and Mark Norell’s full report, Erketu ellisoni, a Long-Necked Sauropod from Bor Guvé (Dornogov Aimag, Mongolia).
(illustration by Jason Brougham)
E. ellisoni was found in Mongolia during an expedition in 2002. Unfortunatly, it was found without a head!
The meaning behind the name for this new species:
Erketu - In Mongolian shamanistic tradition, there are 99 Tengri (deities). Erketu Tengri is the Mighty Tengri, a creator-god who called Yesu gei, the father of Chingis Khan, into being.
ellisoni - In honor of Mick Ellison, for his contributions to ongoing AMNH dinosaur research.
I would like to thank Eric for sending me to this groovy site which has directions on how to make your very own stuffed kiwa hirsuta. Kudos to Kristen McQuillin for being geeky enough to come up with the pattern and then share it with us all.
To Download the pattern to make your very own “Tasty” the Kiwa click here [pdf]
This little critter has been sitting around waiting to be identified since 1961. Hope it wasn’t too dusty for researcher Muzamil Mustaffa. He published a paper in the Journal of Asian-Pacific Entomology, Rhomboptera Selengorensis, a New Species of Bush-crickets from Peninsular Malaysia (Orthoptera: Tettigoniidae: Pseudophyllinae) [pdf], describing the new species in detail.
It was named after Selangor, the region of Malaysia where it is found.
The Malaysian National News Agency also has a short article on it, New Grasshopper Species Found In Selangor.
You don’t have to go to some fancy school or have a fancy degree to discover a new species.
Kate Edwards, an 18 year old student at Berkshire Community College, recently discovered a new species of millipede while on a field trip to Costa Rica. The Berkshire Eagle has the full story at BCC student spots new species
The new millipede species doesn’t have an official name yet so it’s been nicknamed the “katipede” after the discoverer.
Did You Know:Millipedes are also known as diplopods. They can sometimes be confused with their cousins, the centipedes. There’s an easy way to tell the difference though. Millipedes have two sets of legs for each body segment whereas
centipedes just have one set of legs for each body segment.
A new Smoothound shark was discovered in the Gulf of California / Sea of Cortez by marine biologist, Juan Carlos Perez.
The Reuters article, Biologist discovers new shark species, says the sharks are around 5 feet long. However, the paper published by the biologists, A New Eastern North Pacific Smoothhound Shark (Genus Mustelus, Family Triakidae) from the Gulf of California, says the sample specimen was 113 cm or 3.7 ft. Either way, it’s no JAWS. They prefer to dine on shellfish and shrimp.
The word hacat means shark in the dialect of the Seri Indians from Tiburo´n Island and Sonora, Mexico. The Seri Indians distinguish among several Smoothhound shark species which they named hacat imitaast.
The Mustelus hacat joins a list of 4 other species in the Mustelus genus that are known to roam the same area: M. californicus, M. henlei, M. lunulatus, and M. dorsalis.
Scientists at the California Acadamy of Sciences recently announced that they discovered 9 new assassin spider species. Previously, there had only been around 12 assassin spider species known to mankind. These itsy bitsy spiders (only 2 mm!) are members of the Archaeidae family. They are called “Assassin” spiders because they love to munch on other spiders! Check out the pic below. They developed super long necks and jaws which allows them to attack their prey without getting too close.
Names for the new species weren’t published, but here are some links to sites reporting on these little critters: