Top 5 Animal Discovery in the Last Decade

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Every day more and more animals are being discovered. These recently discovered animals are weirder than the previous one discovered. Each of them has a distinct feature that sets them apart from other species or members of other families belonging to the same species of animal. But, these fascinating creatures are now on the brink of becoming endangered due to the fact that hunting and the destruction of their natural environment have become rampant. Several organizations around the world have sought to protect these newly discovered animals and let the world know of their existence before they become extinct. Here are the top 5 animal discoveries in the last decade.

1. Megalara Garuda

Megalara garuda also known as the king of wasps or Garuda wasp is a large wasp. It was discovered in 2011 by Lynn Kimsey at the Indonesian island of Sulawesi specifically at the Mekongga Mountains. Lynn Kimsey is the director of Bohart Museum of Entomology and professor at the University of California. The expedition to the southeastern island of Sulawesi was a success when they discovered the formerly unknown wasp. A detailed description of the newly found animal was published in March 2012. The species is named after a giant bird-like creature named Garuda which was also a cultural symbol of the country of Indonesia.

Male garuda wasps are about 1.3 inches long and some can even grow up to 2.5 inches. Its most prominent feature is its powerful jaw. The huge jaw can wrap around its head while closed.

It is used to hold the female in place during sexual intercourse. Females are usually smaller in size but are the largest in other species in the sub-family. Garuda wasps have shiny black wings tinted with a golden color. The garuda wasp feeds on other insects making it a solitary predator of other insects.

2. Insulamon Palawanese

Insulamon palawanese is a species of freshwater crab found only on the island of Palawan in the Philippines. It was discovered by Hendrik Freitag of the Senckenberg Museum of Zoology in Dresden, Germany. The Insulamon palawanese has a striking purple color that is not similar to any other species of crab elsewhere. It has earned its name as the Joker crab since it resembles the comic book villain with its striking colors. The species was discovered only last year in 2012 during an expedition trip to the island of Palawan in the Philippines.

Unfortunately, this species of crab is now on the list of endangered species due to mining projects that heavily affect the biodiversity of the island. Several organizations have already planned on stopping the mining projects in order to protect the wildlife on the island and preserve the natural wonder. There is also an effort to stop the mining projects in order to start more expeditions to discover even more animals on the island.

3. Goliath Bird-eater

The Goliath bird-eater or Theraphosa blondi is a spider under the tarantula family. It is the second-largest spider in the world just below the giant hunstman spider. The goliath bird-eater derived its name after an 18th-century copper engraved a spider eating a small hummingbird. Although the allegation is somewhat inaccurate since the goliath bird-eater does not normally prey on birds.

The goliath bird-eater was discovered in 2006 in the rainforest regions of northern South America. They usually live under burrows they have dug themselves or burrow previously dug by other animals. There, they wait for incoming prey and strike when they are close. They usually live in swampy damp areas where smaller creatures are commonly found.

Goliath bird-eaters do not usually eat birds. Their main source of food is other insects and invertebrates. They kill and consume a wide variety of vertebrates as well. Like any other tarantulas, they have fangs that have venom. Goliath bird-eaters are known only to bite humans when they are threatened. Their venom is harmless and is relatively similar to a wasp sting. They are known to reach the size of 12 inches and can weigh over 170 grams.

4. Lesula

The lesula is a newly discovered species of Old World monkey exclusively found in the Lomami Basin of the African country of Congo. It was recently discovered in 2007 and a 2012 publication. It is the second new species of African monkey to be discovered in several decades. Lesula monkeys are now to have almost the same features as human beings having a similar resemblance to a human face. Lesula monkeys are also described to have human-looking eyes and blue buttocks. An exposed patch of skin in the buttocks, testicles, and the perianal area is a distinct feature of the lesula monkey. They were discovered by John and Terese Hart of Yale University.

Locals in the area have already been exposed to the lesula monkeys but it was only in 2007 when it was discovered by international scientists. They live in the rainforests in Congo specifically in the village of Opala. There have also been sightings of the animal in the wild around the ranges in Lomami and Tshuapa rivers in the central part of Congo.

Reports have shown that the lesula monkey is now a vulnerable species due to hunting and the destruction of its natural habitat. They are thought to be seriously endangered in the next few years. Although efforts have been done to preserve their natural environment, Congo’s current political and social state have been proven a challenge for those who provide effort to protect this animal.

5. Yeti Crab

The Kiwa hirsuta or the yeti crab is often mistaken as the furry lobster. It was discovered in 2005 in the South Pacific Ocean. The decapod is about 15 cm long and has a distinctive silky blond fur covering its legs and claws. It was discovered in March 2005 by a group led by Robert Vrijenhoek.

It was named after Kiwa the goddess of the shellfish in Polynesian mythology and is also named after Kiwa which is a male guardian of the sea in Maori mythology.

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