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Top 10 New Species

The International Institute for Species Exploration announces its picks of novel species discovered in the past year, including a carnivorous mammal, a tiny shrimp, and a fungus.

By | May 23, 2014

Some of the new species discovered in the last year (from left to right: olinguito, Bassaricyon neblina; Kaweesak's dragon tree (Dracaena kaweesakii; skeleton shrimp, Liropus minusculus) FROM LEFT TO RIGHT: MARK GURNEY, PAUL WILKIN, SINC AND J.M. GUERRA-GARCIAEach year, the International Institute for Species Exploration chooses its favorite new species of the year. This year, the Top 10 includes species from all walks of life, from a penicillium fungus and an amoeboid protist to the large dragon tree and a new carnivorous mammal. Others on the list include a shrimp, a snail, a gecko, an anemone, and a fairyfly. Here are some highlights:

The skeleton shrimp (Liropus minusculus), collected from an island off the coast of Southern California, is the smallest of the Liropus shrimp, boasting a translucent body that is less than 3.5 millimeters long.

Kaweesak's dragon tree (Dracaena kaweesakii), found in the limestone mountains of Thailand and Burma, is a large tree, measuring in at 12 meters (nearly 40 feet), with tufts of sword-shaped leaves and off-white and orange flowers. Researchers estimate that just 2,500 of these trees exist today.

The olinguito (Bassaricyon neblina), discovered in Ecuador, is the first new species of carnivorous mammal identified in the Western Hemisphere in more than 30 years. This arboreal fur-ball lives in the cloud forests of the Andes, where local deforestation may be a threat to the species.

See the complete list at The Guardian, BBC News, or the International Institute for Species Exploration’s website. Also, see the organization’s list from 2013, and check out The Scientist’s look at some of last year’s notable new species.

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