The wonders of nature just got a bit more wonderful.
Over the past year, experts around the world have added some 18,000 new species of plants, animals and other living things to the list of known species on the planet. Using criteria such as geographic diversity and unusualness, a group of scientists commissioned by the International Institute for Species Exploration has named those depicted here as the top 10 new species for 2014.
“The top 10 is designed to bring attention to the unsung heroes addressing the biodiversity crisis by working to complete an inventory of Earth’s plants, animals and microbes,” institute founding director Quentin Wheeler said in a statement announcing the selection. “Each year a small, dedicated community of taxonomists and curators substantively improve our understanding of the diversity of life and the wondrous ways in which species have adapted for survival.”
IISE began selecting top 10 species in 2008. Visit the IISE website for listings — accompanied by equally intriguing images — from previous years.