Biggest new animal discoveries of 2013

Written by: Lisa Stelzner

Primary Source: Lisa Stelzner

This is a fun article about many of the new species of animals that were discovered last year – and there are a lot of them!  I had heard about some of these in the press, but did not know about all of them.For example, a new mountain porcupine was discovered in Brazil with a prehensile tail that allows it to climb trees (you have to check out its face!, a walking shark was discovered that “walks” on the seafloor using its fins, 3 species of carnivorous snails (!) were discovered in Thailand, and a giant flying frog was discovered in Vietnam that glides between trees.

You may have heard about the olinguito, a new carnivorous mammal found in the Andes, or the new species of cat found in Brazil, or the new species of tapir, but there are lots of other cool animals here, too.

A new porcupine species (the Baturite porcupine). Photo credit: Hugo Fernandes-Ferreira.
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Lisa Stelzner
I'm a plant biology PhD student studying monarch butterflies in Michigan, but I'm interested in lots of other types of science, too. I am interested in how breeding monarch butterflies choose their habitat based on floral species richness and abundance. Few studies have been conducted on optimal foraging theory when it involves an organism searching for two different kinds of resources, and butterflies are an ideal study system to investigate this, since many species are ovipositing specialists and only lay eggs on one species of hostplant, but are feeding generalists and nectar from a broad variety of flowering forbs.