According to the scientific community more than 2 million species of plants, animals, and microbes on Earth have been identified, but most experts believe and estimate that there are many millions more waiting to be discovered. Although it will definitely take centuries to discover all these new species, we conducted a humble search and came up with 25 incredible new species discovered in 2014. To be clear, this list involves both living and non-living discoveries.
This extinct dyrosaur, a type of crocodilian, which roamed an ancient rain forest a few million years after the dinosaurs died, was described last year and was named after the fiery Balrog that lurked deep in the Middle-Earth mines of Moria in Tolkien’s The Lord of the Rings. What we know about it so far is that with a blunt snout and powerful bite, it could eat turtles and battled monster snakes. Badass, huh?
Bug species that lives on whale carcass
A new bug, similar to the common woodlouse, was found in 2014 by scientists aboard the RRS James Cook deep in the Southern Ocean. It was estimated that 500 to 6,000 specimens littered each square meter of the carcass.
A brightly colored beetle collected by Charles Darwin more than 180 years ago was finally identified as a new species in 2014 after hiding in museum storage for decades. The discovery of Darwinilus sedarisi took its scientific epithet from both Darwin and writer David Sedaris.
A new species of crayfish was discovered in southeast Australia’s coastal lakes and is currently considered one of the world’s smallest crayfish species. The tiny, blue-black crustacean resembles its larger cousins that end up in cooking pots, such as lobsters and crawdads.
The Mysterious Structure
While volunteering in the Peruvian Amazon, graduate student Troy Alexander discovered a strange web formation underneath a tarp. Experts guessed it could have been slime mold, a structure made by moths, or a defense made by spiders, but everyone was stumped. After months of research the scientists found that the web towers were used for spider eggs, but it’s still not clear what species of spider made the webs or what the picket-fence circle is for.