6 animal species discovered in 2016

Discoveries are nothing new for scientists, but these unique species are leaving them intrigued.

Photo by: Jürgen Otto.
Photo by: Jürgen Otto.

The peacock spider. Picture: Jürgen Otto [Source: National Geographic]

As researchers continue to scout uninhabited islands, dense jungles and deep ocean grounds in search of new life, scientists tell us they have found a  number of new species, something that just goes on to tell us that our planet still has much to be explored.

Here's our pick of the six new species which according to National Geographic, were found this year:

1) Silver Boa: Chilabothrus argentum

The team from Harvard University first encountered a metre-long silvery female as she climbed a Silver Palm tree near the water's edge on a remote island in the southern Bahamas. Picture: R. Graham Reynolds, University of North Carolina [Source: National Geographic]

The discovery of a rare boa which is silver in colour and shines like metal, has the science world excited as finding a new species of snake is rare.

According to National Geographic, the Conception Bank Silver Boa was discovered on the uninhabited Conception Island of the Southern Bahamas.

It is so rare that experts are saying only a thousand or so exist and all of them are believed to be found on Conception Island.

It lives on trees and feeds on birds.

However, it could face extinction because of its main predator, the feral cat.

The silver in its name also comes in part because the first specimen was discovered on a silver palm tree. 

2) The Mythical Monster: Dendropsophus mapinguari

The newfound frog gets its name from a legendary rain forest beast called the mapinguari. Picture: Pedro Peloso [Source: National Geographic].

One of the most venomous creatures on earth is the Dart Frog, but this newly discovered frog is not poisonous nor a monster.

The bright yellow frog was found in Brazil's Amazon jungle.

It has been named Dendropsophus Mapinguari after a mythical rain forest beast.

National Geographic says the herpetologist who discovered the frog wanted to honour the culture of that region with the name.

3) Tanana Arctic: Oeneis tanana

The Tanana Arctic butterfly. Andrew Warren [Source: National Geographic]

With approximately 20,000 different species of butterflies around the world, the latest one has been discovered in Alaska, U.S.

It's the first butterfly to be discovered in the state in almost three decades, National Geographic reported.

Science suggests it’s a hybrid of two different butterfly species before the last ice age.

The Tanta Arctic is especially unique because its body produces natural anti-freeze proteins and has adapted to live in cold temperatures and harsh weather conditions that would kill most butterflies. 

4) Ghost Octopus

The pale creature is a completely new species to science. Source: National Geographic.

A spooky octopus resembling a ghost haunts the Pacific Ocean floor near Hawaii.

The pasty cephalopod-like discovery called Ghost Octopus, is the first of its kind to be found, reports National Geographic.

Octopuses in the deep blue are known to have fins, whereas this creature just resembles comic book character Casper: The Friendly Ghost,  with its smooth finless outer layer.

5) Himalayan Wolf: Canis lupus chanco

Female Himalayan wolves seem to smile for the camera at the Padmaja Naidu Himalayan Zoological Park in Darjeeling, India. Picture: Joel Sartore/National Geographic Photo Ark.

Although the discovery of the Himalayan Wolf was made 200 years ago, scientists are reconsidering its ancestors.

National Geographic says at first the Himalayan Wolf was thought to be a subspecies of the grey wolf, but DNA suggests otherwise.

After DNA testing, scientists discovered that the wolves seen in Nepal had been distant from other wolves for at least 800,000 years and DNA evidence showed it had been so far from grey wolves that it deserved its own recognition and gave it a species of its own.

6) Peacock Spiders

A male Maratus tessellatus peacock spider (right) puts on a show for a female. Picture: Jürgen Otto [Source: National Geographic]

Who would have thought male spiders would have to impress potential mates with dance moves.

The Peacock Spiders have to work through a series of dance moves by flaunting their body and shaking their spider legs to find a date. 

National Geographic reports that there have been seven different species of the Peacock Spider found in Australia this year alone.

TRTWorld, TRTWorld and agencies