Top 10 new species from 2011

There are so many species on Earth that each year biologists discover, describe, and name scads of new ones. The International Institute for Species Exploration at Arizona State University has taken to producing a top ten list of particularly interesting species as a way to promote interest in the subject. The list, covering species discovered in the previous calendar year, is released each May 23, the birthday (in 1707) of Carl Linnaeus, inventor of the system of classification called “Linnaean taxonomy” still in use (in modified form) today.

The latest top 10 list includes a bright blue tarantula, a rare monkey with a pair of nostrils in its face in lieu of a nose (making it prone to sneeze in the rain), and a tiny wasp that lays its eggs in the body of a live ant in a tiny fraction of a second. There’s even a fungus called Spongiforma squarepantsii after Spongebob Squarepants.

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