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Top 10 New Species - 2012

In celebration of our 5th anniversary of the Top 10 New Species, the IISE presents some of the best species officially described in 2011.  As with every year, we consider all of these species to be equally exciting and engaging - as such, there is no ranked order; no firstborns, no middle children and definitely no one bringing up the rear. Please click on the links below for more details about this year's Top 10 and enjoy!

Click here to make a nomination for next year's Top 10.

  • a snub-nosed monkey from Myanmar (Burma) that sneezes when it rains

  • a banded box jelly that's so cool-looking that people exclaim "oh boy!" when they see it (or when they're stung!)

  • a nematode from one of earth's deepest gold mines that survives the temperatures and pressures of living almost a mile below the planet's surface

  • the first night-blooming orchid to be described and grows in a primeval tropical forest

  • a teensy wasp that attacks desert ants to lay its eggs in less than 0.05 seconds

  • a new mushroom that can be squeezed like a sponge with an uncanny resemblance to a popular cartoon character

  • a yellow poppy that blooms in the autumn monsoon season and can only be reached by hiking miles into the Himalayan wilderness

  • a millipede that's SO big it looks like a sausage

  • an ancient, spiny creature nicknamed the "walking cactus" that may have used its bristly legs to capture prey

  • a breathtakingly beautiful and blue tarantula that may be at risk due to habitat loss and exploitation by the pet trade