A glowing cockroach, a monkey with a blue behind and a meat-eating sponge snagged spots on a list of top 10 new species named in 2012, scientists announced today (May 23).
In its sixth year, the Top 10 New Species list is compiled by the International Institute for Species Exploration at Arizona State University and is announced on the anniversary of the birth of Carolus Linnaeus. An 18th-century botanist, Linnaeus created the modern system for naming and classifying species.
The panel plucked the top 10 new species from more than 140 nominations; to be considered, the species had to have been officially named in 2012 and described with the appropriate code of nomenclature.
“We look for organisms with unexpected features or size and those found in rare or difficult to reach habitats,” Antonio Valdecasas, a biologist and research zoologist with Museo Nacional de Ciencias Naturales in Madrid, Spain, said in a statement. “We also look for organisms that are especially significant to humans — those that play a certain role in human habitat or that are considered a close relative,” added Valdecasas, who is committee chair for the top 10 species list.