Science-- there's something for everyone

Saturday, December 31, 2011

140 new species in 2011

Over the past year, researchers at the California Academy of Sciences added 140 new species to the Earthly index.  This effort took the scientists deep into the oceans and to every continent except Antarctica. 

Although the species were spread through many phyla, there were some clusters.  Just over half the new species were arthropods, and 43 of those were ants.  There were 14 vertebrates, all but one of which were fish, the fourteenth being a tortoise.  There were also 11 plants.  You can peruse the entire list here.

























Spanning six continents and three oceans, new discoveries add to the family tree of life on Earth.
Credit: Image courtesy of California Academy of Sciences.

The results of this survey have been published in 33 different papers.  Aside from adding to our knowledge about our fellow inhabitants on this planet, the data helps conservators plan how best to protect critical areas.