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Scientists announce top 10 new species; issue SOS
Date:5/24/2009

TEMPE, Ariz. The International Institute for Species Exploration at Arizona State University and an international committee of taxonomists scientists responsible for species exploration and classification today announce the top 10 new species described in 2008.

On the list are a pea-sized seahorse, caffeine-free coffee and bacteria that live in hairspray. The top 10 new species also include the very tiny (a snake just a slither longer than 4 inches or 104 millimeters), the very long (an insect from Malaysia with an overall length of 22.3 inches or 56.7 centimeters) the very old (a fossilized specimen of the oldest known live-bearing vertebrate) and the very twisted (a snail whose shell twists around four axes). Rounding out this year's list are a palm that flowers itself to death, a ghost slug from Wales and a deep blue damselfish.

The taxonomists also are issuing an SOS State of Observed Species report card on human knowledge of Earth's species. In it, they report that 18,516 species new to science were discovered and described in 2007. The SOS report was compiled by ASU's International Institute for Species Exploration in partnership with the International Commission on Zoological Nomenclature, International Plant Names Index, Zoological Record published by Thomson Reuters, and the International Journal of Systematic and Evolutionary Microbiology.

Photos and other information on the top 10 and the SOS report are online at species.asu.edu.

Among this year's top 10 picks is a tiny seahorse Hippocampus satomiae with a standard length of 0.54 inches (13.8 millimeters) and an approximate height of 0.45 inches (11.5 millimeters). This pygmy species was found near Derawan Island off Kalimantan, Indonesia. The name satomiae is "in honour of Miss Satomi Onishi, the dive guide who collected the type specimens."

From the plant kingdom is a gigantic new species and genus of
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Contact: Carol Hughes
carol.hughes@asu.edu
480-965-6375
Arizona State University
Source:Eurekalert

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