Archaea. An entirely new domain of bacteria-like organisms identified in 1977 by Carl Woese. Many of these microbes thrive under such extreme environmental conditions as deep-sea hydrothermal vents, hot springs, underground petroleum deposits, highly acidic or alkaline water, hypersaline water, or the digestive tracts of animals, though recently they have also been found with plankton in a normal marine environment. Some of them metabolize sulfur, others are major producers of methane, and still others aerobically reduce iron or various sulfates. The methanogens have been known for a long time, but the other types are recent discoveries. Woese determined that the RNA sequences of ar-chaea are as different from bacteria as they are from all other forms of life (eucarya), so he proposed that all life is made up of these three basic domains.
Big-fin squid. Magnapinna pacifica. Known only from one paralarva and two 2-inch-long juveniles, this shallow-water, eastern Pacific squid required a new family when it was described in 1998 by Michael Vecchione and Richard E. Young. Its most distinctive feature is a massive terminal fin that is as long or longer than its body. A 21-foot-long "mystery squid" with long tentacles that was photographed at depths of 6,000-15,000 feet by staffers of the Monterey Bay Aquarium Research Institute in May 2001 may turn out to be the adult form of this animal.
Black sea nettle. Chrysaora achlyos. This eastern Pacific jellyfish can be quite massive, with a dark-purple bell that measures up to 3 feet in diameter and pink tentacles nearly 20 feet long. First described by Joel W. Martin and others in 1997, it constitutes the largest invertebrate discovery of the twentieth century. Specimens had been photographed as long ago as the 1920s.
Blind cirrate octopus. Cirrothauma murrayi. A deep-sea cephalopod that is completely blind. Discovered in the North Atlantic in 1910.
Cooloola monster. Cooloola propator. A cricketlike insect discovered in Cooloola National Park, Queensland, in 1976; its discovery required the creation of a new family, the Cooloolidae.
Crinoids. Although there are more than 650 living species of crinoids, or sea lilies, they are better known as common marine fossils. A few recently discovered species are the sole representatives of families long thought extinct. Guillecrinus reunionensis, belonging to the Paleozoic Subclass Inadunata, was brought up from 6,500 feet off Réunion Island in the Indian Ocean by Michel Roux in 1985; G. neocaledonicus was found off New Caledonia in the Pacific a few years later. Another living fossil from the Cretaceous period, Gymnocertus richeri of the Order Cyrtocrinida, was discovered off the coast of New Guinea and described in 1987; it was found to produce a group of pigmented molecules, since called gym-nochromes, that are useful in treating the viruses that cause herpes and dengue fever.
Peter Funch and Reinhardt Kristensen to accommodate Symbion pandora, a tiny, sessile animal attached to a Norway lobster taken from the North Sea. Smaller than a pinhead, this strange animal reproduces asexually by budding off male and female larvae from its digestive tract.
Dracula ant. Adetomyrma venatrix. First described in 1993 from specimens found in Madagascar, these ants show some anatomical characteristics that suggest a closer affinity to ancestral wasps than other ants. In addition, they feed off the blood (hemolymph) of their larvae. The first colony was discovered in 2000.
Giant huntsman spider. Heteropoda maxima. Rediscovered in 2001 by Peter Jaeger in a specimen collection of the Museum of Natural History in Paris (where it had been stored for seventy years), this large arachnid is found in Laos and has a legspan of 9—12 inches.
Giant mantis prawn. Erugosquilla grahami. A 16-inch-long shrimp with excellent eyesight and huge praying mantis—like pincers was discovered in 1999 by Shane Ahyong just east of Sydney's harbor bridge, New South Wales, Australia. Said to be very good to eat.
Giant Tambusisi tree-nymph. Idea tambu-sisiana. Butterfly with a wingspan of 6.5 inches discovered on the slopes of Mount Tambusisi, Sulawesi, Indonesia, in 1980.
Giant vent tubeworm. Riftia pachyptila. Giant tubeworms with blood-red plumes that live next to hydrothermal vents in the ocean floor. They were discovered at the same time as the vents themselves, in 1977, when the submersible Alvin investigated thermal anomalies near the Galápagos Islands. Tubeworm larvae attach themselves to the lava near the vents, building long, white tubes as they grow. The plumes absorb sulfurous water that bacteria inside the worm use to generate energy and food for the worms. The worms grow at phenomenal rates, up to 34 inches per year, making them the fastest-growing marine invertebrates alive. The tubes extend to a maximum of 6—8 feet, completely without benefit of sunlight.
Giant white clam. Calyptogena magnifica. First seen in 1977 near deep-sea hydrothermal vents in the Galápagos Rift, this foot-long clam has a white shell and blood-red flesh that contains large amounts of hemoglobin.
Graptolite. Cephalodiscusgraptolitoides. Discovered at a depth of 830 feet off the island of Lifou in New Caledonia in 1989, this sessile, encrusting colony was assigned to the Pterobranch Phylum of deuterostomes. However, its spinelike structures bear a strong resemblance to fossil graptolite colonies, which have been extinct since the Carboniferous period, 300 million years ago. P. N. Dilly, " Cephalodiscus graptolitoides sp. no v.: A Probable Extant Graptolite," Journal of Zoology 229 (1993): 69-78.
Haemopis caeca. This leech was discovered in 1986 by Serban Sarbu in the unique ecosystem of Movile Cave in Romania. At least fourteen other new species have been identified there, including a mollusc (Heleobia dobrogica), a pseudoscorpion (Chthonius monicae), a water scorpion (Nepa anophthalma), two rove beetles (Medon spp.), a dwarf sheet spider (Iberina caeca), a pillbug (Ar-madillidium tabacarui), a mite (Labidostoma mo-tasi), and a nematode (Chronogaster troglodytes). Karl Shuker, "The Cave Time Forgot," Fortean Times, no. 88 (July 1996): 42.
Hutchinsoniella macracantha. Tiny, shrimplike crustacean discovered in soft sediments off the shore of Long Island, New York, in 1955. Only 2-4 millimeters long, with nine pairs of equally proportioned limbs, these creatures had to be placed in a new class, Cephalocarida. The crustacean's head resembles a trilobite's.
Hydrothermal vent shrimp. Rimicaris exocu-lata. An abundant bresilioid shrimp that swarms around underwater rocks near abyssal "black smoker" vents. Discovered in 1985, this blind shrimp has evolved a sophisticated sensor (the "dorsal organ") for locating distant hydrothermal vents.
Hystrichopsylla schefferi. The world's largest flea, first described in 1921 from a specimen discovered in Washington State in the nest of a Mountain beaver (Aplodontia rufa), its only known host. Females may exceed 1 centimeter in length.
Indian stick insect. Carausius morosus. Described in 1908, this is one of the world's most famous captivity-bred insects. It is native to the Palmi Hills, Tamil Nadu State, India.
Iowa Pleistocene snail. Discus macclintocki. Known only from Pleistocene fossils until 1978, when this quarter-inch snail was discovered living in a cave in northeastern Iowa.
Irukandji jellyfish. Carukia barnesi. Transparent, thumbnail-sized, Australian jellyfish now thought to be responsible for Irukandji syndrome, a set of symptoms that includes nausea, backache, severe hypertension, abnormal heartbeat, and fluid buildup in the lungs, apparently caused by a sting. The syndrome was identified in 1952, but it wasn't until 1961 that Queensland marine biologist John Barnes caught this jellyfish and let it sting him to see whether he developed the syndrome (he did). Now thought to be a pelagic species that only invades coastal waters occasionally. At least two tourists in Queensland were killed by Irukandji syndrome in the first four months of 2002; however, later tests on one of them, American Robert King (who died in April), seemed to indicate that the stings were not from Carukia barnesi but from some other deadly jellyfish.
Jasus caveorum. A rock lobster discovered in the summer of 1995 southwest of Easter Island in the South Pacific.
Kauai cave wolf spider. Adelocosa anops. Eyeless, orange-brown spider discovered in Koloa Cave, Kauai, Hawaii, in 1973.
Limnognathia maerski. A new phylum, Mi-crognathozoa, was created to accommodate this 0.1-millimeter-long freshwater organism discovered in a well on Disko Island, Greenland, in 1994. It is characterized by a set of complicated jaws that it uses to scrape bacteria and algae off underwater moss.
Lobatolampea tetragona. Two specimens of comb jelly, caught along the shore of Ise-wan Bay near Toba, Japan, in 1992, resembled no other known genera and required the creation of a new family, Lobatolampeidae.
Loricifera. A phylum of microscopic animals described by Reinhardt Kristensen in 1983 to accommodate Nanaloricus mysticus, discovered off the coast of Brittany, France. These animals have spiny heads and unsegmented bodies in a vase-shaped anterior that can retract into the posterior trunk. More than 100 species have been described from marine sediments.
Mantophasmatodea. A new insect order was created in 2002 to accommodate the discovery in Namibia of a 1.6-inch predatory insect that looks like a cross between a mantis, a grasshopper, and a stick insect. Fossil specimens have also been discovered in 45-million-year-old Baltic amber.
Mediterranean carnivorous sponge. Asbesto-pluma hypogea. A Mediterranean sponge discovered in a sea cave 12 miles from Marseille, France, in 1994; it uses its tendrils to seize and digest tiny crustaceans that swim past.
Micromygale diblemma. The world's smallest spider was discovered in Panama in 1983, requiring the creation of a new subfamily. It breathes directly through its skin and has only two eyes.
Midgardia xandaros. The world's largest starfish is a deep-sea species discovered in the Gulf of Mexico in 1969. It measures as much as 4 feet 6 inches from arm tip to arm tip.
Millennium bug. A new genus of water strider in the Family Veliidae was discovered early in January 2000 by Nils M0ller Andersen and Tom Weir in freshwater streams in southeastern Queensland and northeastern New South Wales, Australia. This insect is less than one-tenth of an inch long.
Mimic octopus. Octopus sp. Discovered in Maumere Bay off the Indonesian island of Flores in the mid-1990s, this octopus can camouflage and manipulate itself to appear like a flounder, a sea snake, a lionfish, a crab, an eel, or a jellyfish, all in a matter of seconds.
Mljet moon jelly. Aurelia sp. nov. A new species of moon jellyfish was discovered in January
2001 on the island of Mljet, Croatia, in the Adriatic Sea. Its closest relative also lives in an inland lake, in the Philippines.
Mystacocarida. Subclass of wormlike crustaceans less than 1 millimeter long, first discovered in 1943 between the intertidal sand grains of beaches. Three species are known in a single genus, Derocheilocharis.
Neoglyphea inopinata.. Lobsterlike crustacean collected in the South China Sea in 1908 that remained unidentified until 1975, when it was recognized by Jacques Forest and Michèle de Saint Laurent as a glypheid, a member of a family thought extinct for 50 million years.
Neopilina galatheae. A small mollusk that looks like a limpet. Prior to its discovery off the west coast of Mexico in 1952 by the crew of the Danish research ship Galathea, no living representatives of the class of Paleozoic fossil mollusks called monoplacophorans were known. Unlike other mollusks, these animals are segmented and have paired nerves, muscles, sex organs, and heart chambers.
Ophiocanops fugiens. Primitive, yellow-banded brittle star discovered in 1922 off Jolo Island in the Philippines.
Pheidole fullerae. New species of ant discovered in 1990 in a potted palm in the Washington, D.C., office of Kathryn S. Fuller, president of the U.S. branch of the World Wildlife Fund. Presumably a South American species, its presence in a palm from Florida has not been explained.
Platynus indecentis. A ground beetle discovered in 1997 in the Cornell University collection, where it had been misidentified as Platynus decen-tis for decades. Found in bogs from Maine to Maryland and from Ontario to Ohio. Christened "indecentis" by James Leibherr and Kip Will, who considered it "positively indecent" that this beetle remained undetected by entomologists for so long.
Pompeii worm. Alvinella pompejana. Poly-chaete worm discovered in 1979 living in honeycomb-like tubes near hydrothermal vents in the abyssal East Pacific Rise. The most heat-loving invertebrate known, this free-swimming worm attaches itself to "black smoker" vents and can withstand temperatures up to 100°C. On the opposite end of the temperature spectrum, the Methane ice worm, Hesiocaeca methanicola, discovered deep in the Gulf of Mexico in 1997, is the only known animal to colonize methane hydrate ice.
Proturans. New class created in 1907 by Fil-ippo Silvestri to describe some of the most primitive insects, discovered in Genoa, Italy. No more than one-tenth of an inch long, these soil-inhabiting hexapods have no eyes or antennae. The larva begins with nine body segments and acquires a new one after each molt until it is an adult with twelve segments. The first species to be recognized was Acerentomon doderoi in 1907; since then, at least 100 others have been described.
Queen Alexandra birdwing. Ornithoptera alexandrae. The world's largest butterfly was discovered on the Popondetta Plain of Papua New Guinea in 1906. Females average 8.2 inches across the wings, though specimens up to 11 inches have been collected. It is also the heaviest butterfly, at .42 ounces. The female has chocolate-brown wings edged with cream; the male is smaller, with green, blue, and black markings.
Rock crawlers. Order Notoptera. An insect order discovered in 1914. Sixteen species are known in Canada, Japan, and Siberia, living at relatively high altitudes between rocks and moss or in cavities.
Sea wasp. Chironex fleckeri. A deadly box jellyfish, first identified as a distinct species in 1955 after one fatally stung a swimmer off Cardwell, Queensland, Australia. The pain caused by its stinging cells (nematocysts) is said to be excruciating, and death can occur within two or three minutes, often before the victim can struggle to the shore. These animals can grow as large as 7 inches in diameter, are square in shape, and have four bundles of stinging tentacles that may extend up to 6 feet.
Sheet-web weaver spiders. Ceraticelus sp. nov. and Meioneta sp. nov. Two tiny new species of Linyphiid spider were discovered by Thomas Prentice in two Lake County forest preserves north of Chicago, Illinois, in early 2000.
Spelaeogriphus lepidops. A long, cylindrical crustacean discovered in 1955 in a freshwater stream that flows through Bat Cave in Table Mountain, South Africa. The discovery required the creation of a new order, Spelaeogriphacea. Two other living species and two fossil species are known.
Speleonectes lucayensis. A small, millipede-like crustacean that lives in underwater caves in the Bahamas. Its discovery in 1979 required the creation of a new class, Remipedia.
Sperosoma giganteum. The world's largest sea urchin was first described in 1907 from specimens found off Omai Sakai lighthouse in Japan. The shell's horizontal diameter is up to 13 inches.
Sponge-dwelling shrimp. Synalpheus regalis. Discovered by J. Emmett Duffy in June 1996, this creature was living inside the internal canals of sponges in the barrier reef off Belize. The first known instance of eusociality in a crustacean.
Steigman's crayfish. Procambarus sub gei-ardiella steigmani. This new species of crayfish, with a cherry-red back and light-blue sides, was discovered in northern Texas in 1990 by Ken Steigman.
Stygiomedusa fabulosa. A 5-foot-wide jellyfish that trails tentacles measuring 6 feet long, this animal was brought up from a depth of more than 9,000 feet in the Bay of Biscay in the Atlantic in 1959.
Tear-drinking moth. Hypochrosis baenzigeri. An odd moth, first described in 1982, that jabs its proboscis into the eyes of elephants and absorbs moisture and salt from the tears.
Thermosbaenaceans. An order of tiny, shrimplike crustaceans discovered in the Hel Hamma hot spring in Tunisia in 1927.
Thiomargarita namibiensis. The largest known bacterium, measuring up to 0.3 inch across, was discovered in 1998 in oceanic ooze at a depth of 328 feet off Walvis Bay, Namibia, by the crew of the Russian vessel Petr Kottsov. It grows in strands of single cells that are several feet long, and it feeds on sulfur.
Tubeworms. Subphylum Pogonophora was created in 1944 to accommodate the discovery thirty years earlier of a threadlike, transparent, deep-sea worm recovered by the crew of the Dutch ship Siboga and named Sibloglinum weberi. More than 100 species have since been described. They are the only known multicellular organisms without a digestive tube. Most species live in the sea below 300 feet in vertical, secreted tubes, often in dense aggregations. The largest are the Giant vent tubeworms (Riftia pachyptila).
Vampire moth. Calyptra eustrigata. Discovered in Malaysia in 1926, this moth uses its proboscis to suck the blood of mammalian hosts. Its dietary preference was not noted until 1967, when Swiss entomologist Hans Banziger found one on the flank of a tapir in the Kuala Lumpur zoo.
Vampire squid. Vampyroteuthis infernalis. First collected in 1903, this deep-sea squid has characteristics of both octopuses and squids. Between 5 and 12 inches in length, it has the consistency of a jellyfish. Its name comes from its eerie look: glittering red eyes, a purplish web connecting its eight arms, and two retractile filaments that can extend to lengths well in excess of the total length of the animal and retract into pockets.
Wallace's giant bee. Megachile pluto. The world's largest bee, more than 1.5 inches long, was discovered in 1859 on the island of Bacan in the Molucca Islands of Indonesia by Alfred Russel Wallace. It was not seen again for more than 100 years. In February 1981, it was rediscovered on nearby Halmahera, Indonesia, by Adam C. Messer, who studied it for the first time in its natural habitat. The bee makes its home inside active treetop termite nests.
Zorapterans. An insect order first described in 1913. Adults are barely 3 millimeters long and resemble small termites. They form small colonies be neath tree bark or in soil cavities. The twenty-two known species belong to a single genus (Zorotypus).
Indigenous Names for Recently Discovered Animals Anjing hutan. "Tree-climbing dog" in Sulawesi, Indonesia, determined in 1978 by John MacKinnon to be the Sulawesi palm civet.
Atti. Henry Stanley's misrendering of o(k)api, the Mbuti name for the okapi.
Boeaja (or Buaya) darat. Indonesian name ("land crocodile") for the Komodo dragon.
Bondegezou. Moni name, meaning "man of the high forest," for the dingiso.
Co. Vietnamese name for the newly described Crossocheilus fish.
Couja quinta. Liberian name for the giant forest hog.
Cure-buro. Spanish name, meaning "donkey-pig," for the Chacoan peccary.
Elguia. Masai name for the giant forest hog.
Esele. Bila name for the aquatic genet.
Ferreret. Balearic Island name for the Mallor-can midwife toad.
Gombessa, Kombessa. Comoran names for the coelacanth.
Ilangurra. Aboriginal name for the scaly-tailed possum, whose scientific name (Wyulda) was mistakenly taken from the Aboriginal word for the Northern brushtail possum (Trichosurus arn-hemensis).
Ilio-holo-i-ka-uaua. Hawaiian name for the Hawaiian monk seal.
Itundu. Bakumu name for the Congo peacock.
Kouproh. Cambodian name for the kouprey.
Kting voar or Kting sipu. Cambodian names for the linh duong.
Ling. Ancient Chinese name for the linh duong.
Mang lon. Local name for the giant muntjac.
Mbirri. Kakumega name for the giant forest hog.
Mbulu. Congolese word for the Congo peacock.
Moho. Maori name for the takahe.
Ngagi. Rwandan word for the mountain gorilla.
Ngila. Swahili word for the mountain gorilla.
Ngowe. Bali name for the Congo peacock.
Nigbve. Liberian name for the pygmy hippopotamus.
Pa beuk. Vietnamese name for the giant catfish of the Mekong River.
Pagua. Paraguayan name for the Chacoan peccary.
Paiyuan. Chinese name ("white ape") for the white-headed langur.
Pei chi. Variant Chinese name for the beiji.
Pingimaya. Yaeyama name for the Iriomote cat.
Poc. Guatemalan Indian name for the Atitlan grebe.
Raja laut. Indonesian name for the coelacanth.
Sam coi cacoong. Local Vietnamese name ("the deer that lives in the deep, thick forest") for the Truong Son muntjac.
Senge. Mbuti word for the giant forest hog.
Tagua. Paraguayan name for the Chacoan peccary.
Tumti. Kalenjin name for the giant forest hog.
Ungano bato. Indonesian name for the Sulawesi palm civet.
Yamaneko. Japanese name for the Iriomote cat.
Zip. Satere Indian name for the Satere marmoset.
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