Our planet is swarming with thousands of species of different plants and animals that contribute an equal share to keep our ecosystem perfectly balanced and live-able. We have discovered a lot of newly discovered animals and species in the past, but the funny thing is, we have just been scraping the tip of the iceberg.
The entire universe consists of thousands of galaxies with an uncountable number of planets, and ours is the only one known to sustain life. Do you know how highly unlikely the chances of that happening are? We are really lucky to be able to call this planet our home, and we should really appreciate it for what it really is.
The results of an experiment carried out in 2011 prove that about 91 percent of the ocean species and 86 percent of the land species have not yet been discovered by scientists. This result of this experiment was a slap in the face of most scientists and has encouraged them to put more focus on exploring new species.
This is why scientists take time off of their busy schedules every year to travel to remote forests, mountains, deserts, and deep oceans in pursuit of discovering new species, and this led to a significant number of new animals being discovered in the last few years.
Given how a lot of you are animal lovers and are extremely fascinated about newly discovered animals, we went right ahead and made this article about some of the newly discovered animals in the world over the few years to keep you updated.
The animals included in this list were discovered in forests, caves, mountains, and oceans in over five continents. Without further ado, let’s jump right in and get into some of the newly discovered animals in the world.
A fish named WAKANDA (Cirrhilabrus Wakanda)
We’re all aware of Marvel’s fictional nation, Wakanda, which serves as the home for Black Panther (A marvel superhero). So, if you think the name of this fish sounds familiar, this is exactly why. They are also known as “Vibranium fairy Wrasse.” These fishes are found in shallow reefs, almost 260 feet underneath the surface of the sea.
They mostly live in dark-colored coral reefs, which are known as “Twilight Zone” reefs. These are found in the Indian Ocean, about a few miles away from the Tanzanian coast. They have very deeply pigmented scales that give them vibrant purple, which is an amazing sight for the eyes.
Their colors are so deep that even when the fishes were cut (for experimental purposes), the purple color wasn’t lost. The “twilight zone” reefs are very isolated and secretive, and scientists are confident of finding more species of previously undiscovered fishes there.
A New Species of Grouper Fish
Grouper fishes have been with us for some time now, so no one really expected that a new species of these fishes could be discovered, and the way it was discovered is quite the story.
Jeff Johnson was an ichthyologist (a marine biologist who studies various species of fishes) in Australia’s Queensland Museum who had been hearing about a mystery Grouper for more than 15 years. People from all over the country sent him photographs of the fish occasionally, and he always thought that they could be a potentially undiscovered species.
Even though he received countless images of the fish, he never managed to get his hands on one of these fishes before. So, when Johnson received an image from yet another random fisherman, he rushed to the fisherman only to find out that he had already sold it. So, Johnson tracked down the market where the fisherman sold the fish, and, this time, he wasn’t late to the party.
Johnson and his teammates finally found the fish they’d been long searching for. After finally getting their hands on this “hard to get” fish, John and his team of other scientists cross referenced the DNA of this mystery fish with other groupers in the museum and finally published a paper which confirmed that they had finally discovered a new species of the grouper and named it “Epinephelus fuscomarginatus.”
Mini Mums: Tiny New frogs from the Ancient Forests of Madagascar
Madagascar is an island in the Indian Ocean and is known as the “Biodiversity Hotspot” of the world. Madagascar has an extremely diverse ecosystem, and more than 90 percent of the wildlife found in Madagascar is found nowhere else in the entire world. So, scientists thought it was highly likely to encounter new species there, and they were not wrong.
They have managed to successfully find an extremely rare and little species of frogs (The Mini Mum). Most of these frogs are no longer than just a few millimeters in length and belong to the Mini genus. They are probably the tiniest frogs in the entire world. The sad thing is, they are found only in a handful of locations and are on the verge of extinction. Until now, researchers have found Mini Mums only in Manombo (a special wildlife reserve in the south-east part of Madagascar).
World’s Largest Amphibian: A New Form of the Giant Chinese Salamander
For many years, the giant Chinese salamander was thought to be the only one in its species and the largest of all amphibians. Scientists thought that it’s highly unlikely for an animal to belong to a single species and that there was always a possibility of a new species of them to be discovered, and fortunately, they were right.
Scientists took a number of DNA samples of the salamander from several different museums to analyze the population of the salamander in wildlife before the humans intervened and started farming and transporting these innocent amphibians. The results of their research showed that these amphibians didn’t belong to one, but three different species named A. davidianus, A. sligoi and a third species which wasn’t named at the time of the discovery.
On top of that, they found out that one of the newly discovered species, “A. sligoi” also known as the South China giant salamander, was likely to be 2 meters in length, making it the largest of all amphibians – not bad for newly discovered species.
New Tarsier Discovered in the Mystic Lands of Indonesia
The discovery of the new tarsier took nearly 25 years. Two scientists by the name of Alexandra Nietsch and Carsten Niemitz first saw this tarsier in the Togean Islands of Sulawesi in Indonesia in the year 1993, and they’d been chasing it ever since.
This new tarsier was familiar to the locals for a long time, but no one thought that this was actually a new species. Scientists carried out extensive research on the DNA of the tarsier, and after almost 25 years of research, they were finally able to identify it as a newly discovered animal in a paper they published in 2019.
The new tarsier was then named Niemitz’s tarsier to honor the original scientist, Carsten Niemitz, who first discovered it. This was a huge breakthrough as the discovery of this tarsier led scientists to believe that there could be other new species of tarsiers in the Togean Islands. So, hats off, Mr. Niemtiz!
Nine Newly Discovered Species of Fijian Bees
With new animals being discovered left and right, our melittologist buddies (people who study bees) also didn’t come short-handed. In fact, they discovered nine new species of the Fijian bees this year and took the entire scientific community by surprise.
These exquisite bees are covered in shades of green, black, gold, metallic, and touches of purple, making them probably the most colorful bees in the entire world. They belong to the genus Homalictus Cockerell, and most of these bees are bound to single mountain tops on the island of Fiji, which is probably why they took so long to be discovered.
Some of these bees are also restricted to certain mountains, which make them extremely rare. Researchers fear that this exquisite species might be extinct real soon due to climate changes and are taking every possible initiative to avoid their early extinction.
Newly Discovered Species of Marmoset
A group of scientists were researching the wildlife of the Amazon forest and suddenly caught a glimpse of the majestic white tail of these marmosets, and they knew right then that it had to be from a new species. You see, white tails are very rare among primates in that part of the area. So, when they saw the marmoset, they knew they had struck gold.
It was first spotted in the Brazilian state of Pará, which lies between the Tajapos and the Jamaican rivers. These animals had a very memorable white tail, and had white forearms with a patch of beige spot in the elbows (very close to what we call blonde) and white hands and feet. And after spotting the first group of Marmosets, the scientists started studying the marmosets. They carried out tons of experiments in labs until they could finally confirm that a new animal was discovered.
It was later named “Mico munduruku.” Unfortunately, they have been declining in numbers due to rapid agricultural expansion and deforestation, and if we don’t stop it, we might have to kiss this majestic marmoset species goodbye.
New Species of Monkeys known as “Plecturocebus parecis”
Another newly discovered animal on this list is the Plecturocebus parecis, a new species of monkeys. These monkeys were found in Rondônia in Brazil around the Amazon rainforest. They were first spotted in 1994 and had been confused with the ashy black titi monkeys. It wasn’t until 2011 that scientists realized what they had missed and looked into it with the possibility of finding a new species. Although the forests are being heavily deforested, these monkeys have successfully managed to avoid the damage as they moved to the steep slopes of the plateau, which was great since the plateaus are very unlikely to be deforested. Who thought that monkeys could actually outsmart us, humans?
New Species of the Giant Flying Squirrel
Most people think the flying squirrels are almost like the Lochness monster; most people heard of it, some believe it while others think that it’s made up. But fortunately, we came prepared with evidence in hand to prove it’s legitimacy.
You see, it’s not that the giant squirrels are made up; scientists have stumbled upon these and have proof of their existence. It’s just that these creatures are so incredibly rare that people often question their credibility and, over time, made it seem like an old wives’ tale. But we have a few facts that might change that.
The first ever flying squirrel, also known as the Namdapha flying squirrel (Scientific name: Biswamoyopterus biswasi), was spotted in India and another species, the Laotian giant flying squirrel (Scientific Name: Biswamoyopterus laoensis), in a Bushmeat market in Laos.
Recently, some scientists in China added a third to the list, the Mount Gaoligong flying squirrel (B. gaoligongensis). It was first discovered in the Chinese academy of sciences, so the scientists took some samples and discovered this new animal. Kudos to our Chinese friends for putting an end to these false pretenses about the flying squirrels once and for all.
Miniature Glow-in-the-dark Sharks
Sharks are generally terrifying creatures, but imagine this, if you will: a new species of sharks so small that they fit right into your pockets! And, on top of that, they glow in the dark! Not so scary now, is it?
It was discovered in the Gulf of Mexico when a group of scientists were surveying the ocean for whales but instead stumbled onto this cute little shark when they collected a huge number of samples from the depths of the ocean. When they found it, they knew it was something worth checking out, and they were right.
They had discovered a newer, less terrifying version of the shark and wrote a paper to let the whole world know about it. The animal was later named the Pocket shark, not for its incredibly small size but for the pocket-like glands it has behind its fins. If all of this wasn’t enough, the scientists discovered that the pocket shark had several light producing organs that helped it glow in the dark, which made this discovery even more famous.
A New Species of the Venomous Viper Known as “Trimeresurus arunachalensis”
This fascinating creature was discovered when an Indian wildlife scientist by the name of Rohan Pandit was surveying the local biodiversity of Arunachal with his teammate, Wangchu Phiang. They suddenly found this venomous snake hiding behind a leaf, and he knew it was a species of viper, but wasn’t sure.
So, he, along with his partner, captured the snake and brought it back to his lab to investigate further. He teamed up with a number of herpetologists who helped with the research by analyzing the snake’s DNA and finally found out that they had just discovered a new animal. They found out that the new animal was very close to the Tibetan Pit viper (only found in the lands of Tibet) and named it “Trimeresurus arunachalensis,” also known as the Arunachal pit viper.
A New Species of Honeyeater Birds Known as “Alor myzomela”:
Last but definitely not the least, we have a new species of the honeyeater birds known as Myzomela prawiradilagae or Alor myzomela. These birds feature a magnificent red spot on their heads and were found in an island called Alor situated on the eastern side of the mystic lands of Indonesia.
These birds were found 1000 meters above ground levels of the island, but due to the increasing population of that area, scientists fear that humans might interfere with the habitats of these birds, which might drive them away and force them to go extinct.
The locals were fully aware of its existence, but they always thought that it had already been discovered. Scientists are doing everything in their power to bring attention to these birds’ existence and raise full awareness so that these birds don’t go extinct anytime soon.
The world is not only our home but also the home of thousands of species of animals and plants, both discovered and undiscovered. And being the superior beings doesn’t give us the right to destroy forests, pollute oceans and drive thousands of animals off of their homes. We have only discovered 14 percent of land species, and we are yet to discover the remaining 86 percent. But if things go on as they already are, those undiscovered animals will be extinct long before we get to them.
Discovering new animals is always a good thing for the world as it lets us know that the world is packed with living beings we don’t know about. Our scientists are doing everything in their power to discover new animals in the world, and we should contribute to their noble act by putting a stop to all activities that drive off animals, especially cutting down forests. The Earth is a beautiful place, and we all should appreciate it for the blessing that it is.