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Biodiversity rules. To date, scientists have discovered, catalogued and named around 1.5 million species on our humble little planet. How many are there left to discover? This is actually a hotly debated topic amongst scientists; they can't even come up with a rough estimate: Some think there's about 8 million, others speculate there might be as many as 100 million undiscovered species swimming, flying, and squirming around our planet.
Whatever the actual number turns out to be, since scientists discover anywhere between 15,000 - 20,000 new ones each year, we can all agree that we've still got lots of discovering left to do!
In this episode of DNews, Matt and Trace discuss their picks for the six weirdest animals discovered this year, and weird might be kind of an understatement for some of these bizarre critters. For example:
- The Hoosier cavefish: which has an anus directly behind its head
- The male black-tailed antechinus: an Australia marsupial whose males literally mate until they die of stress or exhaustion.
- One of several species of carnivorous sponges (!?). Eek. [Insert SpongeBob joke here].