The top ten new species 2012
August 8, 2012 7:00 PM   Subscribe

The top ten new species 2012 The International Institute for Species Exploration has come up with a list of top ten new species; among them the snub nosed monkey that sneezes when it rains, a wasp that attacks ants in less than 0.05 of a second, and a psychedelic jellyfish. (previously on MeFi)
posted by dhruva (32 comments total) 5 users marked this as a favorite
Imagine being stung by a wasp one-quarter the size of your own body. Then imagine finding out that you weren't stung -- you had eggs laid in you -- and they are hatching.

I'm stuck between feeling sorry for the ants, and wondering if we can get these wasps to work on Southern fire ants.
posted by Countess Elena at 7:06 PM on August 8, 2012

That wasp video is the coolest thing I have ever seen.
posted by eugenen at 7:12 PM on August 8, 2012

fucking ovipositors man
posted by 256 at 7:14 PM on August 8, 2012 [7 favorites]

It's also a great illustration of the way our perception is linked to the pace and scale of our lives. To us that vastly slowed-down video looks "normal"-speed. Science is weird.
posted by eugenen at 7:23 PM on August 8, 2012 [1 favorite]

I suspect the psychedelic jellyfish of having given payola to IISE under the table to make it onto the top 10 list.
posted by Egg Shen at 7:24 PM on August 8, 2012

Spongiforma squarepantsii. The mushrooms smells fruity and Spongebob lives in a pineapple.
posted by unliteral at 7:31 PM on August 8, 2012 [3 favorites]

If insects had their own TV shows, that wasp video would be an America's Funniest Home Videos groin-injury montage.
posted by Strange Interlude at 7:34 PM on August 8, 2012 [2 favorites]

and a psychedelic jellyfish

You mean psychedelic looking? Meh. Close relatives of the poppy Meconopsis autumnalis actually contain psychoactive alkaloids, which bodes well for the new guy.
posted by Sys Rq at 7:42 PM on August 8, 2012

"Since 2000, the number of mammals discovered each year only averages about 36"

What is this I don't even

Science, keep being awesome. Blows my mind that there are mammals hiding out that we haven't found yet. Thirty-six of them a year!
posted by Eyebrows McGee at 7:43 PM on August 8, 2012 [2 favorites]

The new snub nosed monkey is just one of the best taxonomic group of monkeys, the Odd-Nosed monkeys. These include proboscis monkeys, fuzzier sneezing monkeys, monkeys that look like ewoks, and the most beautiful monkeys.
posted by ChuraChura at 7:49 PM on August 8, 2012 [3 favorites]

Is there a jellyfish that doesn't look trippy?

I'm really glad we're still finding so many new animals, and I'm looking forward to doing it someday. This year, someone described 23 new species of skink in the Caribbean, including one that is only known from the island that I live on. Unfortunately, it was all done from museum specimens, using a combination of morphological and DNA analysis, and the species on my island hasn't been seen for more than 50 years and is probably extinct. I'm still keeping an eye out for it, but describing new animals that are already extinct is a bit of a pyrrhic victory.
posted by snofoam at 8:04 PM on August 8, 2012

jellyfish: Etymology: ohboya is named “Oh Boy!!!” after the reaction that someone could have when first encountering this species.

Presumably "holyshiti" was already taken.
posted by Pastor of Muppets at 8:13 PM on August 8, 2012 [2 favorites]

Help! I just clicked on that wasp-ant video, and now I can't stop watching Animal-1 vs Animal-2 videos!
posted by vidur at 9:01 PM on August 8, 2012

Scientists have such dorky senses of humor about these things. I've been working on characterizing the major histocompatibility complex of Anolis carolinensis and I came across these two genes, RING3 and BING3. And I was all OK, what are these about? So I looked up the former and it turns out that RING3 stands for "Really Interesting New Gene 3". Great, not super helpful -- probably just a placeholder name. I brought this up to my advisor and asked if she knew what BING3 was about. She, being British, replied "Oh, it must mean Bloody Interesting New Protein 3". The one must've been discovered by an American researcher, and the other by a British researcher who wanted to put his or her patriotic stamp on the discovery.

It's no Spongiforma squarepantsii or Vampirotoothus diabolus, but I got a chuckle out of it.
posted by Scientist at 9:01 PM on August 8, 2012 [1 favorite]

Rhinopithecus strykeri is the first snub-nosed monkey to be reported from Myanmar and is believed to be Critically Endangered.

posted by Scientist at 9:19 PM on August 8, 2012

The red-shanked douc is indeed a beautiful monkey and I say that as someone who hates monkeys. I would love to see a line of red-shanked-douc-inspired menswear. The fancy gray suits!
posted by nicebookrack at 9:20 PM on August 8, 2012

The sightings of this new species [of box jellyfish] remind us of the opportunities for citizen scientists to participate in species exploration.

Fuck that. I don't want anything to do with box jellies. On the heirarchy of Venomous Animals, they are the very top; they're pretty much the only ones that will actually kill you stone dead in a handful of minutes, leaving you absolutely no chance to get to a hospital. Not a species that I particularly want to explore.
posted by Scientist at 9:22 PM on August 8, 2012 [1 favorite]

Unfortunately, the new Rhinopithecus is only known from carcasses. I suspect the species is essentially extinct already.
posted by ChuraChura at 9:23 PM on August 8, 2012

Seriously, if I were in the water and I saw a box jellyfish, I would not say "oh boy!" I would say "oh shit!" or "let's get out of here!"
posted by Scientist at 9:23 PM on August 8, 2012

ChuraChura, does that mean that the picture in the article is of a dead monkey? Because that would be creepy and sad.
posted by Scientist at 9:24 PM on August 8, 2012

R. strykeri has not yet been photographed in life. The image above is a reconstruction based on photographs of a related species and a specimen of the new one killed by a hunter.
posted by Sys Rq at 9:29 PM on August 8, 2012

posted by Scientist at 9:31 PM on August 8, 2012

There are a number of other monkeys that have been discovered recently (and some not-so-recently) that should be covered in this post. Allow me, then...

the snub nosed monkey
who sneezes when it rains
the "politician" monkey
who lies as it campaigns
the "old time prisoner" monkeys
who drag their balls and chains
the "chinese restaurant" monkeys
who gobble up chow meins

the "dirty hobo" monkeys
who hop aboard freight trains
the "NDAA" monkeys
(with indefinite detains)
the "rainy Spanish" monkey
(staying mainly on the plains)
the "priest and bishop" monkeys
whom the Monkey Pope ordains

the "Tea Party" monkeys
who seem to have no brains
the "bad Monsanto" monkeys
who poison seeds and grains
the "stain remover" monkeys
(they remove the toughest stains)
and those damn "off-topic" monkeys
whose points are not germane
posted by flapjax at midnite at 9:58 PM on August 8, 2012 [9 favorites]

posted by trip and a half at 10:14 PM on August 8, 2012

Can anyone explain (scientifically) why those "snub-nosed" monkeys pretty much HAVE NO NOSE? It seems disadvantageous to have the nostrils so open and exposed. Also, it freaks me out.
posted by juniper at 5:52 AM on August 9, 2012 [1 favorite]

The best idea I've heard is that they live in a very cold environment (it occasionally snows, for example), and their noses, when they still had them, were prone to frostbite. If you had a full nose, which got frostbitten and then infected, it was likely to kill you before you were able to reproduce. But the monkeys who were less, uh, nostrilly, were less prone to frostbite and so they passed their nose-poor genes on to offspring. Over evolutionary time, they lost their noses!

Unfortunately, noses don't fossilize and I don't know that there's a great Rhinopithecus fossil record anyway, but that's the hypothesis I've heard that seems pretty sensible.
posted by ChuraChura at 6:29 AM on August 9, 2012

Also, it freaks me out.

Possibly because of the resemblance to Voldemort?
posted by EmpressCallipygos at 8:00 AM on August 9, 2012

But...but they still have fingers and tails! Aren't those susceptible to frostbite? Maybe not as much as they would be for us, because they're hairy? This has bothered me since I was a 6-year-old reading Zoobooks.
posted by juniper at 9:02 AM on August 9, 2012

EmpressCallipygos: At least Voldemort has a proto-nose-bump. I've always thought those monkeys resembled living skulls. Would not cuddle.
posted by juniper at 9:03 AM on August 9, 2012

"My monkey's got no nose!"
"How does it smell?"
posted by Pastor of Muppets at 3:44 PM on August 9, 2012

I'd guess that if you lose a finger or the tip of your tail, you'll still be able to function, whereas if you get a horrible infection on your face that prevents you from breathing or maybe eating or something, you're going to have bigger problems. But, you know, there may be other, better explanations.
posted by ChuraChura at 5:32 PM on August 9, 2012

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