Washington: The International Institute University and an international committee of taxonomists have announced the top 10 new species described in 2009.
On the list are a minnow with fangs, golden orb spider and carnivorous sponge.
The top 10 new species also include a deep-sea worm that when threatened releases green luminescent ‘bombs’, a sea slug that eats insects and a flat-faced frogfish with an unusual psychedelic pattern.
Also making it to the list is a two-inch mushroom that was the subject of a ‘Bluff the Listener’ segment on the National Public Radio quiz show ‘Wait, Wait Don``t Tell Me’.
Rounding out the top 10 list are a banded knifefish— a charismatic plant that produces insect-trapping pitchers the size of an American football, and an edible yam that uncharacteristically sports multiple lobes instead of just one.
The top 10 new species come from around the world, including Africa, Indonesia, Madagascar, Myanmar, New Zealand, the Philippines, Thailand, the United States and Uruguay.
"Annually, an international committee of taxon experts, helps us draw attention to biodiversity, the field of taxonomy, and the importance of natural history museums and botanical gardens, in a fun-filled way by making the selection of the top 10 new species from the thousands described in the previous calendar year," said Quentin Wheeler, director of the International Institute for Species Exploration at Arizona State University and an entomologist in the School of Life Sciences.
"Charting the species of the world and their unique attributes are essential parts of understanding the history of life. It is in our own self-interest as we face the challenges of living on a rapidly changing planet," added Wheeler.