Cityvisitor blog

The ultimate game of hide and seek

It’s absolutely mind blowing to think that we are still discovering new species on this planet.  The International Institute for Species Exploration (IISE) has just issued its list of the Top 10 New Species from the past 12 months, and it makes riveting reading.  What has to be the cutest and most amazing find is the new mammal named an olinguito.  This is the first new carnivorous mammal described in the Western Hemisphere in 35 years.

It looks like a cross between a cat and a teddy bear and lives in the forests of the Andes mountains in Colombia and Ecuador. How fascinating to think this creature has managed to live so secretly up until now.

The sad thing is about the olinguito is that as soon as it was discovered, it was declared to be under threat, as its existence relies on cloud forest habitat; itself under threat of deforestation.

Kaweesak’s Dragon Tree in Thailand is another new revelation. The IISE said of this one: “Sounding like something out of Game of Thrones and standing 12 meters (nearly 40 feet) tall, it’s hard to believe the dragon tree went unnoticed this long.

“Beautiful, soft, sword-shaped leaves with white edges and cream-coloured flowers with bright orange filaments are the hallmarks of this impressive plant.”

Another species on this interesting list is the leaf-tailed gecko. It’s easier to see how this one has lived unnoticed, as it is very good at disguising itself in its surroundings. The gecko has been found to live on rocky terrain in isolated rain forests of the Melville Range of northeastern Australia.

An amazing fact about this list is that the top 10 new species were picked from a staggering 18,000 new species discovered in the past year.


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