Top 10 New Species for 2014

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It may seem a bit early to declare the top 10 new species of 2014—after all, the year is less than half over. But keep in mind that scientists discover an average of 40 new species a day, so there have already been plenty of freshly uncovered life to choose from. This year the list is being released by the SUNY College of Environmental Science and Forestry’s International Institute for Species Exploration—and the timing isn’t coincidental. Tomorrow is the 307th anniversary of the birth of the Swedish botanist Carl Linneaus, who laid down the groundwork for classifying life.

And as the list shows, life is diverse. The collection includes a dragon tree, a skeleton shrimp, a gecko and a microbe that likes to hang out in the clean rooms where spacecraft are assembled. But there is still far more life to be discovered—scientists estimate that there are 10 million species remaining to be named and classified, five times the number we already know about. We’d better hurry though—while we discover about 15,000 new species a year, we may be losing up to 100,000 annually to extinction.

Tinkerbell Fairyfly, Tinkerbella nana
Tinkerbell Fairyfly Tinkerbella nana Jennifer Read
Skeleton Shrimp, Liropus minusculus
Skeleton Shrimp Liropus minusculusSINC
Domed Land Snail, Zospeum tholussum
Domed Land Snail Zospeum tholussumJana Bedek
Leaf-tailed Gecko, Saltuarius eximius
Leaf-tailed Gecko Saltuarius eximius Conrad Hoskin—Reuters
Olinguito, Bassaricyon neblina
Olinguito Bassaricyon neblinaMark Gurney—Smithsonian/Getty Images
Kaweesak's Dragon Tree, Dracaena kaweesakii
Kaweesak's Dragon Tree Dracaena kaweesakiiDr. Paul Wilkin
ANDRILL Anemone, Edwardsiella andrillae
ANDRILL Anemone Edwardsiella andrillae Dr. Frank R. Rack—ANDRILL Science Management Office/ University of Nebraska-Lincoln
Clean Room Microbes, Tersicoccus phoenicis
Clean Room Microbes Tersicoccus phoenicisNASA/JPL-Caltech
Amoeboid Protist, Spiculosiphon oceana
Amoeboid Protist Spiculosiphon oceanaManuel Maldonado—CEAB-CSIC
Orange Penicillium, Penicillium vanoranjei
Orange Penicillium Penicillium vanoranjeiCobus Visagie—CBS-KNAW

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