The New(ly discovered) Animals of 2014
January 3, 2015 8:02 AM   Subscribe

Last year wasn't all bad. Scientists discovered/confirmed 15,000 new species of living things, including the bone house wasp and four kinds of carnivorous sponges. Mental Floss thoughtfully rounds up the best of the best for us. (Warning: big picture of punk rock sea snail.)
posted by Etrigan (22 comments total) 23 users marked this as a favorite
and four kinds of carnivorous sponges

posted by TheWhiteSkull at 8:06 AM on January 3, 2015 [2 favorites]

Hydrothermal trench life forms are as close as we get to aliens. So awesome.
posted by winna at 8:24 AM on January 3, 2015 [1 favorite]

Reading up on the bone house wasp has made my morning. And given me some home decor ideas.
posted by nubs at 8:26 AM on January 3, 2015 [1 favorite]

1) In 2015, I will arrive at all public places on the back of my new giant stick insect, Henrietta. We are also working on a synchronized dance routine.

2) Wasps are freaking evil, dude. Fuck wasps.
posted by byanyothername at 8:46 AM on January 3, 2015 [1 favorite]

bone house wasp

My Wu-Tang name, btw.
posted by gwint at 9:03 AM on January 3, 2015 [8 favorites]

Scientists found this snail and several others in the sea-floor area surrounding hydrothermal vents, where the water can reach up to 750° F and higher. Noting the newcomer’s spiky shell, its purple blood, and its “extreme environment,”

I'm pretty sure I've seen these things clinging to the walls at Norfair or thereabouts.
posted by Jpfed at 9:32 AM on January 3, 2015

Wow, about 41 new species identified per day. It seems like it would be a lot of work and got me wondering. I'm afraid to link any science reporting given its sorry state but I found this:
New Kids on the Block: How Scientists Identify New Species which concerns marine species and is addressed in lay terms with a newly discovered seahorse - Hippocampus denise - as an example. The article is entertaining. I hope it is also accurate.
posted by vapidave at 9:32 AM on January 3, 2015

BAT FROG! Da na na na na na na na na na
posted by Hermione Granger at 10:39 AM on January 3, 2015 [1 favorite]

That metal-eating plant sounds like a good candidate for some generous DARPA research.
posted by Thorzdad at 10:59 AM on January 3, 2015 [1 favorite]

> Bone-house wasps eat spiders, but they also kill ants and bring them back to the nest. Not for food, either: this is just to send a message. Adults carry the ant corpses home, then pile them up at the nest entrance like a gruesome UPS delivery.

Bone-house wasps are apparently to ants what my cat is to mice.
posted by Poldo at 11:11 AM on January 3, 2015

I love the world. I love science. I love that science proves that the world is always filled with things to discover...
posted by Alexandra Kitty at 12:10 PM on January 3, 2015

I was singing Bat Frog to this tune, personally.
posted by naoko at 12:18 PM on January 3, 2015

With more than 6,000 species of frogs:
This new frog is one of only 10 or 12 species that has evolved internal fertilization, and of those, it is the only one that gives birth to tadpoles as opposed to froglets or laying fertilized eggs.”
Fanged frog gives birth to live babies
posted by Michele in California at 1:31 PM on January 3, 2015

2014 wasn't all bad. There were... new... wasps!

Eeeeeyup. That about sums it up.
posted by Wolfdog at 1:43 PM on January 3, 2015 [2 favorites]

I can't, in good conscience, applaud the discovery of new wasps. However, if new wasps must be found, at least these kill lots of ants!
posted by ChuraChura at 2:47 PM on January 3, 2015 [2 favorites]

carnivorous sponges

I always found SpongeBob lethal, but in an entirely other way.

...and if I'm not here tomorrow, I might be sponged.
posted by Namlit at 3:26 PM on January 3, 2015

Carnivorous sponges. Yeah, that's what I wanted to hear this morning. I'm glad I held off on the shower. Just when we think we get it all sorted out...wait...bat frogs?...Oh. Ozzy Osbourn. Never mind.

The snailfish...a lowly name for a graceful creature. I could watch it swim for hours.
posted by mule98J at 10:53 AM on January 4, 2015

I keep thinking, what's my toothbrush up to these days...
posted by Namlit at 12:13 PM on January 4, 2015

Oh god are my bones full of wasps? Is that what this is about?
posted by turbid dahlia at 3:37 PM on January 4, 2015

The elephant shrew is pretty fascinating. The head looks like it has a thick, lumpy miniature elephant skull inside. Kind of makes sense it's more closely related to elephants the to shrews, since, IIRC the elephant's closest living relative is a small furry varmint, the hyrax.
posted by univac at 10:52 PM on January 4, 2015

Not new in 2014, but still must be shared: DISCO CLAM.
posted by Etrigan at 3:55 PM on January 5, 2015

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