Even as the already high rate of species extinction is likely to accelerate with global warming (see previous post), new species continue to be discovered. This shows that we do not know enough about the plants and animals in our world and many are disappearing before we even learn about them. So when new species are discovered, I cheer for the discovery but eventually I get bummed by the thought of species loss. Still, I hope these two recent discoveries will be of interest to you.
THE OLIVE-BACKED FOREST ROBIN
Scientists at the Smithsonian Institution have discovered a new
species of bird in Gabon, Africa, that was, until now, unknown to the
scientific community. Their findings were published in the
international science journal Zootaxa today, Aug. 15.
The newly found olive-backed forest robin (Stiphrornis pyrrholaemus)
was named by the scientists for its distinctive olive back and rump.
Adult birds measure 4.5 inches in length and average 18 grams in
weight. Males exhibit a fiery orange throat and breast, yellow belly,
olive back and black feathers on the head. Females are similar, but
less vibrant. Both sexes have a distinctive white dot on their face in
front of each eye.
PLEASE read the entire article at EurekAlert!
WORLD’S SMALLEST SNAKE
Excerpt from BBC News:
By Jennifer Carpenter
Science reporter, BBC News
The world’s smallest snake, averaging just 10cm (4 inches) and
as thin as a spaghetti noodle, has been discovered on the Caribbean
island of Barbados.
The snake, found beneath a rock in a tiny fragment of threatened
forest, is thought to be at the very limit of how small a snake can
evolve to be.
Females produce only a single, massive egg – and the young hatch at half of their adult body weight.
This new discovery is described in the journal Zootaxa.
The snake – named Leptotyphlops carlae – is the smallest of
the 3,100 known snake species and was uncovered by Dr Blair Hedges, a
biologist from Penn State University, US.
Read the full article at BBC News online.