From stick insects the size of branches to the cutest squirrels your eyes have ever seen, we count 10 amazing animal species that were recently discovered.
10 – Foot-long Stick Insect
- In 2014, two biologists were shocked when they came across a stick insect big enough to look like a tree branch.
- Dr Joachim Bresseel and Dr. Jerome Constant were working in the jungles of Vietnam when they made the discovery of two new species of ‘Phasmatodea’, the order of insects that are called stick insects. The full length of this gangly guy can reach a crazy 32 centimetres long, the second longest species ever discovered.
- The longest insect currently lives in Borneo in Indonesia and grows up to 36 centimetres.
9 – Tully Monster
- In 2016, scientists finally figured out what this bizarre looking creature is.
- Known locally in Illinois as the ‘Tully Monster’, this strange sea-dweller has perplexed scientists since the discovery of its fossilised remains in 1958. The mouth of the creature is extended away from the body, with a strange jaw and teeth appearing at the end of its’ snout. After extensive investigation, scientists have decided the 307 million year old Tullimostrum Gregarium, was most likely a vertebrate.
- I’m not exactly complaining that this fish with its hammerhead eyes and weird claw is no longer in our waterways.
8 – Ruby-Eyed Pit Viper
- Just in case there weren’t enough snakes in the world already, a new species of viper has been discovered.
- It’s pretty succinctly called the ‘Ruby-eyed Pit Viper’, and it was found just outside Ho Chi Minh City in Vietnam. It prefers to live amongst evergreen forest, and has been frequently found loitering around water sources like waterfalls and swimming pools. It’s a threatened species, due to the rapidly increasing destruction of their habitats – and also because some locals like to eat them and make snake wine out of them.
- Call me old fashioned but I prefer my wine to be viper-free.
7 – Texan Minnow
- Due to some sloppy scientific documenting in the 1800’s, this little fish has recently been rediscovered in Texas.
- A scientist called Charles Frederic Girard once detailed his apparent discovery of a fish called Notropis Amabilis in 1856, but it was commonly believed that Girard was sometimes careless with his details and often described the same fish twice. So it came as a bit of a surprise when 100 years later, Dr. Kevin Conway recently found the West Texas Shiner does in fact exist – it just looks a lot like a regular Texas Shiner.
- They might look identical but Conway assures us they are completely separate species.
6 – Flapjack Octopus
- This little guy might actually be the cutest thing ever discovered in the ocean.
- Everyone’s calling it a flapjack octopus – or octopus adorabilis on account of its big puppy-dog eyes. You can find him scooting about in the deep sea at around 1,500 feet below the surface. Although it looks like he’s made of pudding, he actually has about eight legs, which arch out like an umbrella to propel his precious little body over the ocean floor.
- A specimen at the Monterary Bay Aquarium Research Institute that laid eggs will hopefully hatch some teen tiny baby octopi in the next few years.