With 1,237 species endangered or threatened on our planet, it is refreshing to know that new species are still being discovered. March was full of announcements of new and interesting discoveries, including a green-blooded lizard named the Green Tree Skink (Prasinohaema virens) living in the jungles of New Guinea. Chris Austin of Louisiana State University also discovered a Hylophorbus frog within those jungles. Amazingly, the Green Tree Skink, through the nature of its green blood, could show us a new way to treat bile and liver related problems.
Natural History Museum scientist Ralf Britz, who has studied fish from Myanmar for many years and who has identified seven new fish species, received the distingushed honor of having a catfish named after him: Eutropiichthys britzi. This is the second time he has received the honor from his colleagues. The first, the smallest freshwater fish from the African continent and a carp relative, Barboides britzi, described in 2006 as a mere 13mm in length.
Twelve years after being spotted in Indonesia, a new bird species called Tongian White-eye, or Zosterops Somadikartai, was introduced for the first time in The Wilson Journal of Ornithology. Contrary to its given name, this small and active bird's eyes are circled in red, has a red beak and green plumage.
Two new species of shark found off the southwest coast of Western Australia have a name akin to the ficticious animal characters of Lewis Carroll — the Wobbegong (shown above).
As if these announcements weren't enough, a bird not seen in over 80 years has been spotted near the Bismarck Archipelago. Beck's petrel, long thought to be extinct, was photographed by an Isreali Ornithologist in large numbers. They are seabirds related to albatrosses and shearwaters. They are dark brown with pale bellies and tube-like noses, and look much like the Tahitian petrel.
story via BoingBoing