Found close to a mile beneath the surface of the eastern Central Pacific from Costa Rica to Ecuador, the skate Notoraja martinezi is now known from four collected specimens.
The skate -a flat fish closely related to rays and sharks - is "heart shaped" and has a "soft nose," according to Francisco Concha and his team, who discovered the new species and describe it in a study.
A large new species of boa made itself known to the world in a dramatic way in 2016: It slithered onto the head of a researcher who was sleeping on a beach in the Bahamas.
Described in the journal Breviora, the Bahamian silver boa (Chilabothrus argentum) is already endangered, according to Robert Henderson, curator of herpetology emeritus at the Milwaukee Museum of Natural History. The snake "reminds us that important discoveries are still waiting to be made, and it provides the people of the Bahamas another reason to be proud of the natural wonders of their island nation."
An enigmatic dark-colored whale nicknamed "karasu," the Japanese word for raven, was identified in 2016 based on DNA analysis. As described by Phillip Morin of NOAA and colleagues, the deep-diving whale of the North Pacific is about 25 feet long and is rarely seen.
"Every known specimen of this new whale found so far has been dead and, in most cases, decomposing on a remote sub-arctic beach," explained Morin. "Without a full skeleton of an adult animal or detailed measurements, we had to use forensic genetics to describe the evolutionary differences of this new species."
Poisonous Millipede With Four Penises
A new species of millipede, Illacme tobini, was found in a cave at Sequoia National Park in California. According to a paper describing the threadlike creature, it possesses 414 legs and a body armed with 200 poison glands. What's more, it has silk-secreting hairs and four penises.
Many spiders, pseudoscorpions and flies were also discovered in caves at the national park during the expedition.