20,000 new species of animals discovered in 2005
Rhett A. Butler, mongabay.com
September 26, 2005

The International Commission on Zoological Nomenclature expects that more than 20,000 species will be described by zoologists in 2005.

This year's discoveries include four species of lemurs from the island of Madagascar, a monkey from Tanzania, an odd-ball rodent from Vietnam, a parasitic ‘vampire fish' from the Amazon.

Researchers say that new discoveries are increasing thanks to the development of technology like DNA sequencing that allows scientists to distinguish similar-looking species; expanded use of the internet which enables better communication; and the opening up of remote lands both for research and development.

In an article for The Observer, Robin McKie and Zoe Corbyn note that these recent dicoveries have necessitated the development of a system to track new discoveries. The International Commission on Zoological Nomenclature has done just that with its launch of ZooBank, an online registration system for new species.

Further reading:

Somewhere Out There, Millions of Species Await Discovery - 17-May-2005

While Planet Earth is becoming an increasingly smaller and more familiar world as every corner is explored and colonized, there remain millions of species undiscovered and undocumented. A number of significant species have been discovered in recent months, revealing humans' huge gaps in knowledge of the world around them.

This article used information from The Observer ("Record haul of 20,000 new species expected," September 25, 2005) and the International Commission on Zoological Nomenclature.

Rhett A. Butler, mongabay.com (September 26, 2005).

20,000 new species of animals discovered in 2005.


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