One of the most interesting discoveries this year has been the discovery of 503 new species by the Natural History Museum. And one of the most unique discoveries is a new species of monkey, Popa Langur.
While you might envision that new discoveries happen in the wild, this one wasn’t. In fact, most are not. Instead, it was discovered within a laboratory setting by analyzing the remains of older specimens within the museum.
Unfortunately, the new species was quickly classified as critically endangered. The population estimates range from 200 to 250. However, naming this new species of monkey will help it get the conservation protection it needs.
503 New Species
While the Natural History Museum has been closed this year, scientists have still been working hard on discovering new life on Earth. And it really showed with the discovery of 503 new species.
For reference, in 2019, there were only 71 new species. Thus, 2020 saw over five times that number.
The majority of the discoveries came from beetles, which accounted for 170 of the new species. There were also a whopping 70 new species discovered in the wasp family. And there were even 10 new minerals.
For reference, there are only 6,000 species of minerals, so that was quite a significant finding.
There’s Plenty of More Species to Discover
There are plenty of samples within the museum to fully analyze. And of course, there are still new discoveries to make in the wild.
For instance, the remains used to identify the new species of monkey was received by the museum 100 years ago. Talk about a big backlog.
It’s extremely important to document these new species because climate change is threatening biodiversity. As it stands, it’s a race against time to discover species before they are taken by climate change.
Which new species interest you the most? Do you think 2021 will have more new species than 2020?