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Check out Ms. Spider Hat and five other new species scientists have discovered and classified in the last year!

Hosted by: Hank Green
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Sources:
http://www.esf.edu/species/
http://www.livescience.com/57181-harry-potter-sorting-hat-spider.html
http://www.indiatimes.com/lifestyle/meet-eriovixia-gryffindori-spider-named-after-hogwarts-sorting-hat-by-indian-researchers-267224.html
https://www.researchgate.net/publication/311866033_The_Pink_Katydids_of_Sabah_Orthoptera_Tettigoniidae_Phaneropterinae_Eulophophyllum_with_Description_of_Two_New_Species
http://phytokeys.pensoft.net/articles.php?id=7743
https://academic.oup.com/jmammal/article/97/3/978/2459835/A-new-genus-and-species-of-omnivorous-rodent
http://www.mapress.com/j/zt/article/view/zootaxa.4167.1.1/7705
https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/27615813
https://www.britannica.com/place/Tocantins-River
http://zookeys.pensoft.net/articles.php?id=7950
http://news.nationalgeographic.com/2016/06/amphibious-centipede-discovered-laos-scolopendra-cataracta-new-species/

 Intro (0:00)


Around this time every year, we get to tell you about some of the weirdest, coolest creatures discovered in the past 365 days. There are about 18,000 new species discovered every year, and around the end of May the International Institute for Species Exploration puts out a list of the top 10 most intriguing ones.

This year we wanted to highlight six of the species on that list, including an amazingly leaf-like katydid, a curiously bloody tomato, and even a swimming centipede. So, let’s dig in!

 Eriovixia Gryffindori (0:34)


First up: does this spider remind you of anything? It looks an awful like the sorting hat that put Harry Potter in Gryffindor, which is why the discoverers gave it the species name gryffindori.

Although, you might have some trouble trying on this real life sorting hat, given that it's less than a centimeter long. I guess you could put it on your head. It’s a spider, though...

While this spider is not magic, its unique shape helps protect it from predators, allowing it blend in as just another dead leaf in the mountainous forests of southern India. It’s so new to science that we've only found one of this species -- entomologists haven’t even tracked down a male yet.

 Eulophophyllum Kirki (1:13)


Another fellow top-tenner with impressive camouflage is this Malaysian katydid. Katydids, aka bush crickets, are known for their stunning feats of mimicry, but the females of this species take the cake... or at least the pink icing. Not only does the middle section of its body look almost identical to a leaf -- down to the green veins -- but its back legs sport flat projections that also look like two other, smaller leaves.

When it's sitting on top of the red flush common to many rainforest plants, this new species of katydid easily looks like an extension of the foliage. Weirdly though, the bug was spotted precisely because it was lounging on a branch with green leaves... so researchers aren’t quite sure what to make of this pink creature. They're thinking that maybe they just caught the katydid in a lucky off-moment? Or the coloring could even be a warning signal...

 Solanum Ossicruentum (2:03)


Like this horrific fruit would be to anyone with the courage to take a bite. Actually, at first the fruit’s flesh would be a mild-looking pale green. But within two minutes, air oxidizes it to a terrifying blood red, in a fast-tracked version of the process that turns apple slices brown.

Wait a few more minutes, and the fruit will look totally charred, no fire necessary! This so-called bush tomato grows... where else?... in the northern and western parts of Australia. Botanists have actually known about this tomato for half a century, but it wasn’t until this year that scientists realized it should be its own species.

And if you're wondering what it tastes like, similar fruits are known to be very salty, although no one seems to have tried this one yet. Can't imagine why.

 Gracilimus Radix (2:42)


Another surprise for scientists this year was the Sulawesi root rat, which is the first rat of its type that doesn’t feast entirely on meat. It’s small and slender, and actually kind of cute. Look at that face! It lives on a single large island in Indonesia, where all of its closest relatives just eat insects. This adorable rodent, though, adds more to its diet: it also gnaws on roots.

Based on this rat’s genetic and physical similarity to its fellow rodents, mammalogists suspect it might have evolved to its current omnivorous state from a carnivorous ancestor -- a never-before-seen development with these rats.

 Potamotrygon Rex (3:15)


Up next, a massive freshwater stingray that calls just one place on the planet home -- the Tocantins River in Brazil. This fish is the 25th member of a genus of so-called ‘black stingrays,’ which are mostly dark brown or black on their backs, with ornate yellow-to-orange spots and patterns. The stingray can grow to be over a meter wide, and tips the scales at 20 kilograms, so scientists gave it the species name “rex,” which means “king” in Latin.

This new king stingray is one of more than 100 species that are only found in the Tocantins River. One reason why so many unique creatures live there is that the river system is full of waterfalls and rapids, which can isolate animals and promote the creation of new species.

 Scolopendra Cararacta (3:58)


The last top 10 organisms we wanted to highlight is this lovely Southeast Asian centipede, which, strangely enough, was named for a waterfall. An entomologist on his honeymoon in Thailand first stumbled upon it when he lifted up a rock looking for cool bugs–like entomologists do... on their honeymoons.

Much to his surprise, the centipede then proceeded to dive into a nearby stream, swimming a bit like an eel. It’s the only centipede we know of that’s happy wet or dry. Researchers suspect the centipede lives mostly on land but hunts aquatic insects at night.

And it is just as nightmarish as other centipedes: it's both venomous and carnivorous. But even though you might not want to encounter this centipede, or wear it as a hat, it’s at risk because of humans. Its preferred habitats next to rivers and waterfalls are popular tourist spots, meaning this terrifying creepy crawly might not be around for long.

 Outro (4:52)


And while it’s fun to go through this list every year, that is the bigger message here. For each of the strange and amazing creatures we discover every year, there are many more that we lose forever because of habitat destruction and climate change. In fact, the Institute estimates that over the next 300 years, we’ll lose 70% of all existing species.

So let us celebrate our newest members of scientifically described species, and try to protect the ones we don’t even know we have yet. I’m curious which one of these species you think is the coolest, you can let me know in the comments below. And for more of this week’s science news, check out our video on SciShow Space about how the Juno space probe’s first findings are already totally changing the way we think about Jupiter.