New species of 2016
2016 has been an absolutely shait year, so I am not going to do a list of main events. I think we better get seriously drunk and forget the sorry business. However! As every year, new species are discovered, and not all of them tiny bacteria, gray mushrooms, or minuscule fish from lake Malawi. I found a bunch of them, and they are delightful!
It is said, convincingly, that the most likely place you can discover a new species, is in your own back yard. Every year, new insects and vertebrates are discovered. Problem is, of course, that to know you have found a new critter, you need to intimately know aaaaaaalll the other known relatives of that little worm. Or fly. Or whatever. That, generally, is why new species are almost always found by scientists. Besides, sometimes new species can only be indentified by DNA, and though sequencers are getting ridiculously cheap… well. It certainly is a special-interest. On the other hand: you would be allowed to name a new species. And name a slimy, disgusting blob after your nemesis. Or a pretty flower for your dear one. Personally, I am with the Ziggy Stardust snake.
Though extinct, I thought Homo Naledi could deserve a place here. It is always exciting when we learn a little bit more about our ancestors.