Scarab beetles from New Guinea, seaweed from the Falklands and a new species of monkey found on an extinct volcano in Myanmar are among 503 species newly identified by scientists at the Natural History Museum . The museum's work in 2020 describing species previously unknown to science includes naming new lichens, wasps, barnacles, miniature tarantulas and a lungless worm salamander. "In a year when the global mass of biodiversity is being outweighed by human-made mass it feels like a race to document what we are losing," said Dr Tim Littlewood, executive director of science at the Natural History Museum . "Five hundred and three newly discovered species reminds us we represent a single, inquisitive, and immensely powerful species with the fate of many others in our hands." Scientists have named nearly 2m different forms of life on Earth but there may be far more than the 8.7m species previously estimated, with DNA barcoding techniques revealing hitherto unsuspected diversity in ostensibly similar creatures. Implausible twists of fate have played a role in some discoveries. A new parasitic worm, Pseudoacanthocephalus goodmani , was found in the faeces of a guttural toad after the amphibian was accidentally flown from its native Mauritius to… Read full this story
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