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New species of the year

More creatures, less Latin used to describe them

8:49pm, December 13, 2012

2012 SCIENCE NEWS TOP 25: 21

A monkey with a blond mane and sky blue rear end was introduced to science this year. So was the first bacterium with calcium structures a bit like bones (SN: 6/2/12, p. 14), the world’s smallest fly (SN: 12/15/12, p. 32), a sponge shaped like a harp, a “cave robber” spider with fold-up claws (right) and a new species of priapiumfish, which sprout long mating structures underneath males’ chins. By the end of 2012, biologists will have described somewhere between 16,000 and 20,000 new species for the year.

Of all these, one of the most remarkable was the description of Solanum umtuma, a prickly South African shru

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