American Elephants

More Abundance of Life: 221 New Species Discovered! by The Elephant's Child


I have written several times about endangered species that have turned out not to be endangered after all, and even extinct species that turn out not to be extinct. It is a large and complicated Earth, and what seems to be missing in one place may well be abundant elsewhere. The environmental lobby wants desperately to endanger more  and find fewer to enhance their cause.

In 2014, researchers at the California Academy of Sciences added a whopping 221 new plant and animal species to the Earth’s complex web of life. New species, previously unknown, include 110 ants, 16 beetles, 3 spiders, 28 fishes, 24 sea slugs, 2 marine worms, 9 barnacles, 2 octocorals, 25 plants, one waterbear, and one tiny mammal. More than a dozen Academy scientists and several dozen international collaborators described the discoveries — which have been published in 64 different scientific papers.

“Biodiversity scientists estimate that we have discovered less than ten  percent of species on the planet,” says Dr. Meg Lowman, the Academy’s Chief of Science and Sustainability. “Academy scientists tirelessly explore the unexplored regions of Earth — not only to discover new species, but also to uncover the importance of these species to the health of our natural systems.”

The picture is of the tiny new mammal, a sengi, or elephant-shrew, (note the long nose). He comes from the deserts of Namibia. There is also mentioned a gigantic worm-eel, at 55 inches long.  I once stepped on what I assumed to be a 2-3′ long piece of driftwood in the river, which promptly wiggled off and swam away. I had no idea that there were eels in my river. Scared the hell out of me.

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