Scientists at the California Academy of Sciences described 71 new species of plants or animals in 2019. According to the Academy, these included 17 fish, 15 geckos, 8 flowering plants, 6 sea slugs, 5 arachnids, 4 eels, 3 ants, 3 skinks, 2 skates, 2 wasps, 2 mosses, 2 corals, 2 lizards, and a partridge in a pear tree. Okay, just kidding about that last one.
Dr. Shannon Bennett, Chief of Science at the Academy was quoted, “Despite decades of tirelessly scouring some of the most familiar and remote places on Earth, biodiversity scientists estimate that more than 90% of nature’s species remain unknown. A rich diversity of plants and animals is what allows life on our planet to thrive: the interconnectedness of all living systems provides collective resilience in the face of our climate crisis. Each newly discovered species serves as an important reminder of the critical role we play in better understanding and preserving these precious ecosystems.”
Here are my favorite animals they described…
Cat-eyed cardinalfish, Siphamia arnazae, discovered in Papau New Guinea
A new species of long-snout skate (Dipturus lamillai), discovered off the Falkland Islands. Because of its similar appearance to commonly-consumed skates, it is in danger of winding up on dinner plates.