There are more than 8.7 million species in the world, but science has only discovered 1.2 million of them. It becomes important to discover the hidden species in order to protect them. Every year, scientists discover new species from around the world, and the year 2020 was no different. We have come across many creatures that we have never seen before. Here are some of the new creatures that we came across in 2020:
1 – Popa Langur
Popa Langur is a newly discovered primate species in the labs through their tissue samples from the museum specimens, fecal samples from wild animals of Myanmar forest, and captive species. As of now, only 200-260 of this species are known to exist and are spread across four different populations.
Although the Langur’s status is not assessed officially, it is classified under critically endangered species as per the IUCN Red List criteria. Most of its population lives on Mount Popa, which is home to over 100 Langurs. It is a spiritual pilgrimage site and also has a prominent wildlife sanctuary.
2 – Lilliputian Frog
An Ecological Swat team has discovered around 20 new species and among them is a 10-mm long frog. It may be the smallest amphibian found in the Andes and the world. It was found during a Zongo Valley expedition hosted by Conservation International, a non-profit organization in the US. This creature was found in tunnels under the humus and moss in a cloud forest. According to the researches, Lilliputian frogs are extremely hard to find, even with their distinctive abilities.
3 – Trimeresurus Salazar
During a recent herpetological expedition in India, the researchers found a new species of snake known as Salazar’s pit viper, Trimeresurus Salazar. It was named after the famous character from the Harry Potter series, Salazar Slytherin. It is a nocturnal snake featuring reddish-orange stripes on the body and head of the male.
The snake was found in Arunachal Pradesh, a state in India where many new species of flora and fauna have been discovered in recent times. These snakes are morphologically cryptic, making them difficult to spot on the field. Therefore, their diversity could be largely underestimated now. Their diet consists of amphibians, rodents, lizards, birds, etc.
4 – Loureedia Phoenixi Spider
This species of spider were found in Iran and categorized as the velvet spider. The resemblance of its color pattern with the Joker actor Joaquin Phoenix has inspired the name Loureedia Phoenixi. It was discovered by Yuri Marusik and Alireza Zamani at the University of Turku, located in Finland.
It was the first time that researchers had found a velvet spider outside the Mediterranean. As of now, only two male species have been discovered from the specimens gathered in the Alborz province, Iran. Considering that Loureedia Phoenixi mostly lives underground, it could be challenging to find the female snakes.
5 – Jonah’s Mouse Lemurs
These are rather shy nocturnal primates that are found in Madagascar Island. These newly discovered species are touted as the smallest group of primates. They are as small as a human fist. The scientists were able to distinguish this species from other Mouse Lemurs by its appearance and mitochondrial DNA, and genomic data.
They are slightly bigger compared to other mouse lemurs. Moreover, it has a reddish-brown body and features a white stripe on the nose. Jonah’s also have small ears and thick furs. Researchers assert that presently these species can only be found in Mananara Nord National Park, in Madagascar. However, here they face the existential threat due to deforestation.
6 – Mantidactylus Radaka
This species is the new member of the Mantellidae family and is specific to Madagascar. This new creature was discovered by a team of international scientists who differentiates Radaka from Guttulatus and Grandidieri through molecular data from museum specimens and wild. It is a large frog measuring over 10 centimeters or 4 inches. Although it was unknown to the rest of the world, this species was well-known to the people of Madagascar. Presently there are 362 species of frogs in Madagascar.
7 – Eurycea Arenicola
Eurycea Arenicola, also reckoned as the Carolina Sandhills Salamander, is another newly discovered species in North Carolina. It was verified by the North Carolina Museum of Natural Sciences. The snake has a crimson-orange appearance and is found in blackwater rivers and springs. Presently, there are 64 recognized salamanders in the state, which is more than any other state in the USA. In fact, the sandhills region abodes 5% of the remaining longleaf pine ecosystem in the country.
We are yet to explore a lot about our Earth. There are dedicated teams of scientists and researchers working towards finding new species across the world. In the coming years, we can expect to witness the discovery of more unknown species from different parts of the world.