Smallest orchid in the world

5 July, 2013

(From original article by Rachel Kaufman, via National Geographic News)

December 3, 2009–The world’s smallest known orchid (pictured)—just over 2 millimeters (0.08 inch) across and nearly see-through—has been discovered nestled in the roots of another flower in Ecuador

Lou Jost, an ecologist with the EcoMinga plant-conservation foundation, has studied the plants of the South American country’s mountainous forests for 15 years.

Earlier [in 2009] he’d collected an orchid of a larger species to study in his greenhouse. “Several months later I saw this tiny plant,” he said.

Find the rest of this article at National Geographic

Another article, from The Independent.


Leaf-like Sea Slug Can Photosynthesize!

25 January, 2010

A green sea slug found off North America’s east coast not only looks like a leaf, but can also make food out of sunlight, just like a plant.

via CBC News – Technology & Science – Leaf-like sea slug feeds on light.


Rat-eating plant discovered in Philippines – Telegraph

17 August, 2009

The plant is among the largest of all pitchers and is believed to be the largest meat-eating shrub, dissolving rats with acid-like enzymes.

The team of botanists, led by British experts Stewart McPherson and Alastair Robinson, found the plant on Mount Victoria in the Philippines.

[...]

They decided to name the plant Nepenthes attenboroughii, after the wildlife broadcaster Sir David.

Find the entire article at Telegraph.co.uk.

(Thanks to Crumpled-Wings for the heads-up on this most excellent discovery!)

1,068 Species Discovered in South East Asia!

1 April, 2009

The incredibly pink Dragon Millipede is able to shoot cyanide.

millipede

It’s one of over a thousand species found in the Greater Mekong in the past 10 years- that’s an average of 2 new species found per week for 10 years!

Find more info at WWF online!


Scientists Discover New Forest with Undiscovered Species on Google Earth

23 February, 2009

Conservationists have found a host of new species after discovering uncharted new territory on the internet map Google Earth.
googleforest

Excerpt from original article by Louise Gray,
Environment Correspondent

“The mountainous area of northern Mozambique in southern Africa had been overlooked by science due to inhospitable terrain and decades of civil war in the country.

However, while scrolling around on Google Earth, an internet map that allows the viewer to look at satellite images of anywhere on the globe, scientists discovered an unexpected patch of green.

A British-led expedition was sent to see what was on the ground and found 7,000 hectares of forest, rich in biodiversity, known as Mount Mabu.

In just three weeks, scientists led by a team from the Royal Botanic Gardens in Kew found hundreds of different plant species, birds, butterflies, monkeys and a new species of giant snake.

The samples which the team took are now back in Britain for analysis.

So far three new butterflies and one new species of snake have been discovered but it is believed there are at least two more new species of plants and perhaps more new insects to discover. …”

Read the entire article  (and find more pics!) at the Telegraph.co.uk.

View many many more shots of the forest and animals at the Telegraph’s slideshow.


World’s hottest chile pepper discovered

26 October, 2007
The following is copied directly from EurekAlert.org:
10-26-2007
Contact: Michael W. Neff
American Society for Horticultural Science


LAS CRUCES, New Mexico — Researchers at New Mexico State University recently discovered the world’s hottest chile pepper. Bhut Jolokia, a variety of chile pepper originating in Assam, India, has earned Guiness World Records’ recognition as the world’s hottest chile pepper by blasting past the previous champion Red Savina. In replicated tests of Scoville heat units (SHUs), Bhut Jolokia reached one million SHUs, almost double the SHUs of Red Savina, which measured a mere 577,000.

Dr. Paul Bosland, Director of the Chile Pepper Institute at New Mexico State University’s Department of Plant and Environmental Sciences collected seeds of Bhut Jolokia while visiting India in 2001. Bosland grew Bhut Jolokia plants under insect-proof cages for three years to produce enough seed to complete the required field tests. “The name Bhut Jolokia translates as ‘ghost chile,’” Bosland said, “I think it’s because the chile is so hot, you give up the ghost when you eat it!” Bosland added that the intense heat concentration of Bhut Jolokia could have significant impact on the food industry as an economical seasoning in packaged foods.

——

The complete study and abstract are available on the ASHS HortScience electronic journal web site: http://hortsci.ashspublications.org/cgi/content/abstract/42/2/222

Founded in 1903, the American Society for Horticultural Science (ASHS) is the largest organization dedicated to advancing all facets of horticultural research, education, and application. Society website – ashs.org


New Snake, Butterfly, and 9 Others Found in Vietnam

26 September, 2007

The tropical forests of Vietnam are throwing open their secrets, as scientists discover 11 new species including two types of butterfly and a snake.

The species, which also include five orchids and three other plants, are exclusive to the remote area in the centre of the country known as the “Green Corridor”, the World Wildlife Fund (WWF) charity said.orchidaspidistra.jpg

A further 10 kinds of plant, including four orchids, are still being examined but are thought to be new species.

The WWF said the animals and plants, found in forests in the Annamites Mountains of Thua Thien Hue province where several mammal species were discovered in the 1990s, could represent the “tip of the iceberg” of new species.

Find the original article at the Daily Mail.


New Genus! Australian Truffles!

24 July, 2007
amarrendiaoleosamed.jpgJan 07, 2003
From original article at
CSIRO Australia

An Australian scientist has made a discovery which is electrifying world fungal biology – a new truffle genus related to the famous Amanita family, or fairy toadstools.

The Amanita family is famed worldwide for the red and white-spotted toadstools beloved of children’s fairy tales, the lethal Death Cap beloved of tabloid media, and a range of delicious edible fungi beloved of gourmets.

The find, by CSIRO Forestry and Forest Products mycologist Dr Neale Bougher, highlights Australia as one of the richest centers of truffle biodiversity on the planet.

Until Dr Bougher discovered the new fungus in the rejuvenating forest landscape of a former bauxite mine near Perth, WA, no one had ever found a truffle – or underground mushroom – related to Amanita.

“It’s not just a new species. It’s a whole new genus,” he explains. “Scientists have been looking for this round the world for well over a century – and here it is, in Australia.”

Since the original find by Dr Bougher, he and colleague Dr Teresa Lebel of Melbourne’s Royal Botanic Gardens, have identified no fewer than five new species of what has now been scientifically named Amarrendia – a marriage of the names Amanita and Torrendia, the two families of fungi most closely related to the discovery. Read entire article here.

Additional articles at:

The AAAS (American Association for the Advancement of Science) website.

Environment News Service.

News in Science.


New Genus of Conifer in Vietnam

23 July, 2007
fir-2.jpgExcerpts from
UCSC’s Currents online:
January 14, 2002
By Tim Stephens

An unusual conifer found in a remote area of northern Vietnam has been identified as a genus and species previously unknown to science. The limestone ridges where the tree grows are among the most botanically rich areas in Vietnam and certainly harbor many other undescribed species, but they are outside the country’s protected reserves, said Daniel Harder, director of the UCSC Arboretum and a codiscoverer of the new species.

[...]

“For us to find a previously undescribed large tree like this indicates that there is probably a lot more to be discovered there,” Harder said. “It’s comparable to the recent discoveries of previously unknown large mammals in Southeast Asia, like the giant muntjac and the saola, a type of ox.”

UC Santa Cruz has the full article with more details and pics here.

Photo:Foliage and cones of the
golden Vietnamese cypress,
X. vietnamensis.

by D. K. Harder

Eight New Orchid Species Found in Papua New Guinea

21 July, 2007
cadetia-newExcerpt from original article published October 18, 2006—-

Scientists from the conservation nonprofit WWF discovered at least eight new species of orchid while surveying previously unexplored forests in the Kikori region on the southern coast of New Guinea’s principal island.

taeniophyllum-new

Over the course of three expeditions, the scientists collected some 300 orchid species, 8 of which have been confirmed as new to science, with 20 more still awaiting verification as new varieties.

“There are over 3,000 known species found here with countless varieties undoubtedly yet to be discovered.”

Read the full article and find more photos at National Geographic.com.

—Photograph © WWF/Wayne Harris

New Species of Orchid Flirts With Wasps

21 July, 2007
hammerorchidFrom an original article by Christine Dell’Amore
July 17, 2007—

The recently discovered Hammer Orchid has evolved to imitate the appearance of a female wasp. Curious male wasps are lured in to investigate, and when they land on the flower, they unwittingly collect and disperse pollen.
The orchid is one of six new species found in the biologically rich region of southwestern Australia.

…Several of the orchid species are threatened by pressures such as invasive species and illegal harvesting.

Find the complete story at National Geographic.com


Found! 40 New Species in Virgin Brazil Rainforest

30 September, 2006

home_amapa2.jpg

Excerpts from
article
by Lewis Smith,
Times Environment Reporter

“Up to 40 new species of plants and animals, including a bird and a tree rat, have been discovered in an expedition to one of the world’s last unspoilt wildernesses.

newfrog_5f200px.jpg Researchers were particularly excited by the bird and the tree rat because new mammal and avian species are extremely rare. The discoveries have yet to be verified by peer review but Enrico Bernard, of Conservation International, is confident that 27 new species have been identified and that several more are contained among the thousands of specimens brought back for analysis.

lagarto_5f200px.jpg Besides the rat and the bird, the new species found include seven fish, eight frogs, lizards and snakes, two
shrimps and eight plants.
One species of lizard, [Amapasaurus tetradactylus], was rediscovered having been seen only twice before, both times in 1970. The lizard is unusual in having four fingers on its claws, whereas it closest relative has three.

“We have confirmed more than 1,700 species, of which more than 100 have been recorded for Amapá for the first time. Perhaps 40 of those are entirely new to science.

Among the creatures already known that were found in the region for the first time were 40 types of bat. Dr Enrico thought this if anything an underestimate. “There are potentially more than 100,” he added.The tree rat, from the genus makalata and the size of a large guinea-pig, lives with monkeys in the trees of the Amazonian tropical forest, where it eats only leaves and fruit.

The authorities in Brazil this week announced that 5.7 million hectares of the region is to be protected as the Amapá State Forest.”

Read the Full Aritcle at Times Online.

Thanks to Nutmeg for the scoop.


Britain Still Discovering New Species…

7 July, 2006

New species discovered in the Cairngorms
A previously unknown insect has been discovered in the Cairngorm mountains, as well as more than 20 plants, invertebrates and fungi species new to Britain.

The tiny black Christii fly (Ectaetia Christii), which measures just 2mm long and lives under the bark of dead aspen trees, was found during research for a new book released today. The book includes details the 223 species mainly found in the Cairngorms and some 1,153 species for which the Cairngorms are nationally important.

“Scotland is famed for the richness of its wildlife and it is remarkable that, given current scientific knowledge, we are still finding new species to add to that wealthy diversity,” said Rhona Brankin, Deputy Minister for Wildlife.

Full article at Scotsman.com…

Did scientists find this species just in time? For a very interesting article about the effects global warming is having on the Cairngorms, visit Climate Change Action at Blogspot.com for an on-the-scene perspecitve from Calvin Jones.


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