Tag Archives: carolus linnaeus

Top 10 new species of 2011

24 May

By Thomas H. Maugh II / Los Angeles Times May 23, 2012

Top 10 lists are standard fodder for media: the 10 best dressed, the 10 best-looking, the 10 most wanted, etc. But the International Institute for Species Exploration, headquartered at Arizona State University, has a new take on such lists. For the last five years, the institute has been issuing a top 10 list of the quirkiest, most bizarre and just plain interesting new species discovered the previous year. This year’s list was released Wednesday, on the 305th birthday of Swedish botanist Carolus Linnaeus, who created the modern system of plant and animal names and classifications.

Scientists have so far discovered and named nearly 2 million species, but researchers estimate that there are at least 8 million species living on Earth, and some say the number could run as high as 100 million — although most think the max is somewhere around 12 million. Every year, about 15,000 to 20,000 new ones are classified. This year’s list includes a sneezingmonkey, a venomous jellyfish, an underworld worm and a fungus named for a TV cartoon. “The top 10 is intended to bring attention to the biodiversity crisis and unsung species explorers and museums who continue a 250-year tradition of discovering and describing the millions of kinds of plants, animals and microbes with whom we share this planet,” said entomologist Quentin Wheeler, who directs the institute.

And, drum roll please, this year’s top 10 list:

Continue reading