Top 10 weirdest new species

Top 10 weirdest new species

Think we know everything about our world? Think again!

Scientists find a surprising number of new species every year. Have you heard of a blue tarantula or the SpongeBob SquarePants mushroom? Scientists found them last year!

Scientists made a list of the Top 10 species they found last year. Here are my favourites:

Sneezing monkey

Sneezing monkey (c) Thomas Geissman_Fauna and Flora International

Sneezing monkey (c) Thomas Geissman / Fauna & Flora International

This strange looking monkey sneezes when it rains! To avoid getting rain in its nose it sits with its head between its legs. Achoo!

Wandering leg sausage

Wandering leg sausage (c) G. Brovad

Wandering leg sausage (c) G. Brovad

Yep, it's a millipede that looks like a sausage! It's 16cm long with a fat, sausage-like body. Although it's pretty big, it's not the biggest millipede. The giant African millipede is 38cm long!

Sazima's tarantula

Sazimas tarantula (c) Rogerio Bertani_Instituto Butantan_cropped

Sazima's tarantula (c) Rogerio Bertani / Instituto Butantan

Some people don't like spiders, but this one is very pretty. Sazima's tarantula is bright blue and very hairy. Don't worry if you're scared of spiders, this one is only found in Brazil.

Devil's Worm

Devils worm (c) G.Borgonie, Ghent University, Belgium_cropped

Devil's worm (c) G. Borgonie, Ghent University, Belgium

It's tiny - only 0.5mm long - but it lives more than a kilometre underground. It's the deepest scientists have found a land animal. Perhaps if there are tiny animals deep on Earth, there could be life deep underground on other planets?

To see the Top 10 new species for 2012, go to Pop Science.

Do you want to hunt for new species? Join in with a BioBlitz!

Curriculum information

  • Summary

    See some weird and wonderful animals that were first seen in 2011. Scientists are constantly finding new species and learning more about living things. How many different species of living things can your children find in the school grounds?

    Curriculum key wordsOther web links
    • Living things
    • Variety of life
    Interactive minibeasts
    Natural History Museum biodiversity survey
    Nuffield primary school teachers' guides contain great ideas about teaching about the variety of life.
    Science Curriculum Links
    National CurriculumCurriculum for excellenceNorthern Ireland Curriculum
    Identify and group plants and animals (KS2 Sc2.4c) Different plants and animals found in different habitats (KS2.5b)Observe living things in the environment (SCN 0-01a). Identify, group and classify living things (SCN 1-01a and 2-01a).Wide variety of living things in the locality (Strand1: Interdependence).
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