The Year In Review - 2016's Top Discoveries!

The Year In Review - 2016's Top Discoveries!

Posted by Leanne Sturrock on 28th Dec 2016

As we prepare to say goodbye to 2016, we thought it would be nice to run through a quick list of some of the species discovered this year. From rock ‘n’ roll flora to flamboyant fauna, there have been plenty of natural discoveries made throughout 2016 – check out a few of them just below!

Ziggy Stardust Lives On – Meet The Rainbow-Headed Snake!

 

While we may have bid sad farewells to legend David Bowie (the musician tragically passed away in January), it seems that some of us are still projecting our adoration of the artist onto a newly-discovered species of snake! A rainbow-headed snake, discovered in Laos, is said to bear a striking resemblance to Bowie’s alter-ego, Ziggy Stardust – just take a look at that fabulous technicolour marking adorning the reptile’s head!

A Quirky Hunch, Confirmed – Scientists Discover That Dinosaurs DID have feathers!

 

For many years now, scientists have been pushing the theory that dinosaurs were not necessarily the scaly Godzilla-esque beasts that we know today (by way of films, books and television); rather, it has been considered that these ancient beasts were, in fact, feathered! In 1859, British biologist Thomas Henry Huxley proposed that birds were descendants of dinosaurs – and more than a century and a half later, it seems that his theory may have been confirmed. Today’s scientists have recently discovered a dinosaur tail preserved in amber – the first of its kind, since the tail was covered in feathers. Now just try to imagine being on the planet at the same time as these big birds. Do their feathers make them more or less threatening, do you think?!

Casper The Friendly…Octopus?


A new species of octopus is thought to have been discovered in March – lovingly nicknamed ‘Casper’, the translucent octopod was originally spotted some 4,000 metres below Necker Island, near Hawaii. Casper’s kind has been considered as ‘almost certainly an undescribed species,’ and may not belong to any known genus. Not only is Casper special for the fact that he’s newly discovered, but he the deepest-dwelling octopod (without fins) ever found!

‘Hendrix’s Liveforever’

 

And finally, we’ll close today’s blog with the discovery of a newly-discovered rare plant…which, like the rainbow-headed snake, has found itself quite the namesake. Found in Baja California, Mexico, the ‘dudleya hexdrixii’ is a stalky plant, with pinkish-white flowers which die in summer and re-sprout in the autumn. It’s a type of succulent, known for its enormous life-span…and it just so happened to be named after the late musician Jimi Hendrix, since former graduate student mark Dodero happened to be listening to the song ‘Voodoo Child’ upon discovering the plant. Its name translates to ‘Hendrix’s Liveforever,’ and it lives in San Diego, where it currently seeks protection by scientists and conservationists (due to land being threatened by farming and housing developments.) Let’s hope Hendrix is able to survive.


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