Discovery of New Species in 2009 Part I

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After recently researching an article in reference to the near extinct white rhinoceroses, I took a moment to reflect on endangered species. Of course, these species are critically endangered for a reason. A few associated concerns include mankind’s personal motive to overhunt, overfish, etc. And then, nature will assumingly take its course. However, after briefly debating the cause of the respective question, I noticed a list of new species discovered throughout 2009. Take a look:


Naturally, with so much undiscovered ocean territory, many new species are appearing in deep and unexplored waters. In Sep, 2009, a relative species of chimaeras, the oldest living shark species in existence, was discovered off the coasts of the Baja California peninsula. The 3 foot long ghostshark resides thousands of feet below the ocean surface, which provides an explanation for their secretive totality of life. One odd characteristic that separates it from similar species is the retractable sex organ residing on the male chimaeras’ head. According to scientists, pictures and model displays of the ghostshark can be found in numerous museums today, though it has never officially been distinguished as a subspecies of the chimaeras.

Rainbow Glow Jellyfish

It is difficult to comprehend how this species has only recently been discovered. With such luminary features, the Rainbow Glow jellyfish was only recently recognized as a new species in March, 2009, off the coasts of Tasmania. Apparently, the jellyfish’s cilia, which allows propulsion through water, is responsible for the bright characteristics. The light simply reflects off the aforementioned body part, and emits a beautiful rainbow of colors. This particular species is estimated to reach 5 feet in length, and deemed extremely fragile. Another fun fact….like other jellyfish, this species does not sting.

Dracula Fish

Estimated roughly 50 million years ago, the 1-2 centimeter long Danionella Dracula fish is said to have lost its bony jaw protrusions, or fangs, around then. Recently, however, scientists have noticed these strange characteristics via microscope. It is questionable though whether or not the fangs are actually used for feeding, or bare a separate responsibility altogether. But what is confirmed is that this species is definitely not what researchers anticipated.

National Geographic Explorer (200): Top new species of 2009. Retrieved Dec 28, 2009 from


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