If you're a resident or even an annual visitor to Gansbaai, you’ve probably noticed a tortoise or two crossing the road...
The general consensus is of course to combine efforts to conserve the precious species that remain on earth. But what we didn’t bargain on is the multitude of new species that are being discovered.
It may come as a shock to many that there was a total of 133 new animal species discovered last year. Among the species discovered 19 species of fish, 2 species crabs, 66 species of insects, 4 species of spiders, 2 species of reptiles and a large number one-cell organisms, mites and mollusca. One of the most significant finds was a flightless bird. The species were discovered and documented by scientists of the Zoological Survey of India.
The flightless bird is yet to be named and studied, but is considered one of the biggest finds as it is such a rare find.
In the forests of southern Madagascar scientists have also discovered a new species of dwarf Lemur. The newly discovered Lavasoa dwarf lemur is however already in danger as first estimates put the number of these lemurs in the wild at only 50. The possible explanation of the lemurs’ late discovery is credited to the fact that lemurs are nocturnal and spend most of their time in dormancy in the high canopies of the forests.
Diving in deeper, the newly named Himantura tutul species of Leopard-skin Whiprays have been found in the Indio-Pacific region. Tissue samples have revealed that this species has been genetically isolated from the rest of their cousins for quite some time already. There is hope that the discovery of this new species will help conservation of these mostly endangered species.
Here’s to discovering more fascinating creatures and the future protection of all species on Earth!