5 Newly Discovered Animal Species in 2023, No. 2 Named after the Creator of The Lord of The Rings
New species of animals have been discovered in various countries around the world, from frogs to snakes. Photo: Getty Images
JAKARTA – Every year scientists discover new animal species. Sometimes, species are categorized as new for two reasons. First, it is a new discovery and has never been studied by scientists before. And secondly, the case of the species and its subspecies is examined more closely for it to be agreed that they must be separate species.
Paleontologists also describe new species they have studied from bones, fossils, amber, and even excrement. Sometimes species are named after their characteristics or the region where they are found.
However, sometimes scientists just prefer to have fun and species are named after celebrities, including more than 40 species named after Sir David Attenborough. So, here are 5 new animal species discovered in 2023:
1. Sibon irmelindicaprioae
Sibon irmelindicaprioae, nicknamed DiCaprio’s slug-eating snake, is found in Panama and Colombia. Sibon irmelindicaprioae is one of five new slug-eating snakes described by scientists. Its discoverers, however, suggested classifying the species as Near Threatened. Because, where he lives in a forest that is still natural and wide.
Although some of its habitat has been converted to grassland, this species may not go extinct fast enough to qualify as endangered.
The newly described species is known from 16 areas in Panama and Colombia. One of them is an isolated population in the mountains of the Cordillera Oriental Colombia. The special nickname “irmelindicaprioae” honors Irmelin DiCaprio, the mother of actor and conservationist Leonardo DiCaprio who chose the name.
2. Hyloscirtus to Tolkien
Hyloscirtus tolkieni is named in honor of JRRTolkien, author of The Lord of The Rings saga. Current tree frog (Hyloscirtus tolkieni) describes it as a new species because its morphology is quite different from other species in the genus Hyloscirtus.
Only one individual has been found so far. The distribution of the species is known to be limited to where it was found and caught, namely the south eastern slopes of the Cordillera Oriental, the Andes mountain range in Ecuador’s Río Negro-Sopladora National Park.
This genus of tree frogs is called river tree frogs because they are usually found near the rivers where they breed. Scientists say that the unique species color is like from outer space or a fantasy world.
3. Cyrtodactylus santana
Cyrtodactylus santana is the first crooked finger gecko to be described at the species level. The gecko was found in the world’s fourth youngest country, the Democratic Republic of Timor-Leste. To be precise, it occupies the east of the island of Timor which is part of the Lesser Sunda Islands.
The gecko was first spotted during the day in the Lene Hara cave in Nino Konis Santana National Park. The hook-toed gecko is nocturnal and scientists were able to catch up to ten of them. Genetic and morphological analysis confirmed that it is a yet-to-be-described species.
The special nickname ‘santana’ comes from the Nino Konis Santana National Park where it was found, and it is named in honor of the freedom fighter Nino Konis Santana who was born within the park’s boundaries.
4. Podogymnura intermedia and P. minima
Podogymnura intermedia is one of two recently discovered gymnure species. With its golden brown fur and pointed nose, P. intermedia closely resembles shrews, but belongs to the group of mammals known as gymnures.