Wednesday, May 27, 2009

Ten Newly-Discovered Species - Including Bacteria in Hairspray

"10 Strange Species Discovered Last Year"
Wired Science (May 26, 2009)

"Every year, biologists brave the world’s deserts, jungles and industrial ecosystems looking for new species.

"And what wonderful things they find. It turns out that the real world is totally like the internet: If you look hard enough, you can find just about anything. This year, scientists found caffeine-less coffee plants, tiny seahorses and a 23-inch long bug that looks like a branch, not to mention a strange white slug no one had ever described that was found in a Welsh garden...."

One of my favorites is Opisthostoma vermiculum - a Malaysian gastropod with a shell that coils on four axes. Most coil around three.

Another is a bacteria that teaches a strange lesson in biodiversity. To keep this new species alive, we'll have to keep manufacturing hairspray. Microbacterium hatanonis's habitat is - I'm not making this up - inside hairspray.


Mariana Soffer said...

I just read that the Crazy ants are the current big thread to biodiversity, isn't it funny? is it cause they are crazy or due to other reasons?
Liked the hairspray bacteria, nature is very creative.

Brian, aka Nanoc, aka Norski said...

Mariana Soffer,

As you said, "nature is very creative." Given what we know about what life on Earth has been through during the last billion years, I can't take the 'delicate natural balance' arguments very seriously.

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