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7 New Species We Were Introduced to in 2014 ...

By A.J.

Science has discovered around 2 million types of microbes, plants, and animals on Earth, but researchers state that there must be millions of new species still waiting to be uncovered. While the most common discoveries are usually tiny insects, there are many interesting beings we're happy to finally meet. Check out these amazing new species we were introduced to in 2014!

1 The Atlantic Coast Leopard Frog

The Atlantic Coast Leopard FrogThe existence of the Atlantic Coast leopard frog (Rana Kauffeldi) as a distinct species was finally confirmed this year, more than 70 years after it was first dismissed. In 1937, ecologist Carl Kauffeld claimed that this tiny fella existed, but the scientific community disagreed, saying it's just another leopard frog, not a new species. In 2014, modern tools finally confirmed that this creature is indeed a new amphibian. What's intriguing about Rana Kauffeldi is that, instead of the usual croaking, it makes a coughing sound! Imagine strolling around a lake and suddenly hearing coughing sounds coming from the water! Spooky!

2 A New Gecko in Madagascar

A New Gecko in MadagascarP. Hordiesi was found hidden away in the depths of magical Madagascar a few years ago, but was confirmed as a new species only in 2014. A master of disguise, this cute little thing blended perfectly in its habitat while skillfully climbing on the ruins and rocks of an old fort, where a team of scientists spotted it. Unfortunately, although we've just met P. Hordiesis, it is already proposed to be listed as a critically endangered species.

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3 Maratus Pardus

Maratus PardusThis little guy looks so beautiful and so bloody terrifying at the same time! Maratus Pardus is a newly discovered species of peacock spider found in Western Australia – of course, where else?

4 The Eastern Swamp Crayfish

The Eastern Swamp CrayfishHi there, beautiful! Gramastacus Lacus is a new species of freshwater crayfish found this spring in… Australia, again! Populations can typically be found in ephemeral wetlands such as small swamps and creeks, and they burrow during the dry season to survive. Since the southeastern coastline of Australia is quickly developing, scientists recommended keeping the crayfish under observation, to find out more about their conservation status.

5 The Australian Humpback Dolphin

The Australian Humpback DolphinIt's rare nowadays for scientists to identify new species of mammals – especially when we're talking about one that can grow over 8 ft. long. But it happened this year. They named a new cetacean, namely the Australian humpback dolphin (or S. Sahulensis). It's not that this beautiful creature has been hiding or living in remote waters, but rather that the species has been misclassified and lumped in with other "cousins" until recently. Due to its now clearly different genetics, skeletal structure and habitat, the Australian humpback dolphin has finally been classified as a new species.

6 Macroscelides Micus

Macroscelides MicusAn international team of researchers has discovered a new jumping shrew species in Namibia: Macroscelides Micus (the Etendeka round-eared sengi). Look at this cute little thing! It is the smallest known species belonging to the order Macroscelidea, and you won't believe who it's related to. I won't keep you waiting: it's the elephant!

7 New Tuco-Tucos

New Tuco-TucosTuco-tucos are some cute little South American rodents pretty similar with gophers. This year, scientists have discovered in Bolivia not one, but 4 new Tuco-tuco species! The mountainous habitat these mammals live in has created a geographical isolation that promoted the development of different characteristics within the populations, leading to the appearance of new species.

What do you think about these newly discovered animals? Which one do you find the most amazing?

Sources:
mashable.com
livescience.com
en.wikipedia.org
ibtimes.co.uk
sci-news.com

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