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13 Newly Discovered Animals (What We Know)

Every year, researchers and scientists find new species of animals that have never been seen before, proving that the world is full of wonder and mystery. From chocolate-colored frogs to tiny reptiles, these newly discovered animals captivate our imagination and provide new insights into the natural world.

In this article, we’ll look at some of the most interesting and recently discovered species of animals and talk about the unique traits that led to their identification.

13 Newly Discovered Animals

1. Bent-toed gecko

Female cyrtodactylus santana
Female cyrtodactylus santana | image by Chan via Wikimedia Commons | CC BY 4.0
  • Scientific Name: Cyrtodactylus santana
  • Year discovered: 2023
  • Country: Democratic Republic of Timor-Leste

A new type of lizard called the Bent-toed Gecko was found in the Democratic Republic of Timor-Leste. They were first found in Lene Hara cave in Nino Konis Santana National Park, and scientists were able to confirm that they’re different from other gecko species.

Some studies show that there are a lot of bent-toed geckos in Timor-Leste, but Cyrtodactylus santana is the first one to be recognized as a species. The new reptile only comes out at night, and its scientific name comes from the place where it was first found, in Nino Konis Santana National Park.

2. DiCaprio’s snail-eating snake

  • Scientific Name: Sibon irmelindicaprioae
  • Year discovered: 2023
  • Country: Panama and Colombia

DiCaprio’s snail-eating snake is a new species that was found in the year 2023. This newly-discovered species is one of five snail-eating snakes living in Panama and Colombia’s rainforests. They live in trees and are extremely dependent on moist environments, which is why the Amazon Rainforest and the Chocó-Darién forests are the most common places to find them.

When these reptiles feel threatened, they just hide their heads and let out a bad smell to scare away predators. DiCaprio’s snail-eating snake has red, black, and yellow scales on its body, and its eyes are a bloody red color. They were also named after Irmelin DiCaprio, who is the mother of the actor Leonardo DiCaprio.

3. Stream treefrog

  • Scientific Name: Hyloscirtus tolkieni
  • Year discovered: 2023
  • Country: Ecuador

The stream treefrog is a new species of frog that was found in Ecuador in the year 2023. Since the stream treefrog possesses characteristics that are markedly different from those of other members of the Hyloscirtus genus, it can be recognized as a separate species from others that belong to the same genus.

The scientific name for the stream frog is ‘tolkieni’, which originated from the author of The Hobbit and The Lord of the Rings, J.R.R. Tolkien. This name was given to the stream frog because researchers mentioned that the coloration of the stream frog makes it appear as though it’s from a fantasy world. However, there is still very little information available about this creature.

4. Gymnures

  • Scientific Name: Podogymnura intermedia and P. minima
  • Year discovered: 2023
  • Country: Philippines

Gymnures are a type of mammal native to Southeast Asia. They resemble hedgehogs in appearance, with long snouts, slim bodies, short tails, large eyes, and nearly hairless ears. The new species of gymnure, Podogymnura intermedia, is from the Philippines, specifically Mt. Hamiguitan in Davao Oriental and Mt. Kampalili in Davao de Oro.

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Another species, P. minima, was found before and was put in the subspecies of P. truei, but it was later found to be a separate species of gymnure. This species of Podogymnura lives only on Mt. Kitanglad in the Philippine province of Bukidnon and is the smallest of its genus.

5. Rose-veiled fairy wrasse

Rose-veiled fairy wrasse swims underwater
Rose-veiled fairy wrasse swims underwater | image by GavinMorley via Wikimedia Commons
  • Scientific Name: Cirrhilabrus finifenmaa
  • Year discovered: 2022
  • Country: Maldives

The Rose-veiled fairy wrasse is a very colorful fish that was first seen in the 1990s. It was thought to be the adult version of the rosy-scaled fairy wrasse at the time. However, in the year 2022, scientists discovered that it’s a separate species.

As a result, they consider it to be a new species in the Maldives, and it’s named after the Maldivian word for rose, which is “finifenmaa”. This beautiful fish has a face that’s a bright red-orange color, and its tail is yellow and violet. Even before they were given a scientific name, these fish were already being traded in the aquarium industry.

6. Principe scops owl

  • Scientific Name: Otus bikegila
  • Year discovered: 2022
  • Country: Africa

The Principe scops owl is a species of owl that was discovered in Africa, particularly on Príncipe Island of São Tomé and Príncipe, an island country in the Gulf of Guinea. The population of these scops owls on the island is estimated to be between 1,000 and 1,500 individuals, and their range is extremely limited.

These birds can be heard on the island, and their calls sound like insects because they have a short “tuu” note that they repeat over and over again. Like other owls, they’re usually only seen at night.

7. Bambootula

  • Scientific Name: Taksinus bambus
  • Year discovered: 2022
  • Country: Thailand

The Bambootula is a new species found in Thailand. They’re the only type of tarantula in the genus Taksinus, and they live in Thailand’s Mueang Tak District. Narin Chomphuphuang, an arachnologist at Khon Kaen University in Thailand, says that these tarantulas are the first in the world to have a biology linked to bamboo.

Tarantulas are natural borrowers, but the bambootula doesn’t have the right body parts for this. Instead, it uses other animals like borer beetles and other natural things to make an opening in the bamboo.

8. Tapir frog

Male tapir frog isolated in white background
Male tapir frog isolated in white background | image by Germán Chávez via Wikimedia Commons | CC BY 4.0
  • Scientific Name: Synapturanus danta
  • Year discovered: 2022
  • Country: Peru

The Tapir frog is a new type of frog that was discovered in 2022 by Germán Chávez, a researcher at the Peruvian Institute of Herpetology. The name of this frog comes from the fact that its nose looks like a tapir’s.

They also have chocolate-colored skin, which is why they’re often compared to the chocolate frogs from Harry Potter. This amphibian has a body shape that’s well suited for the looser soil found beneath the roots of Clusia trees, which is where it was first discovered.

9. Stylobates calcifer

  • Scientific Name: Stylobates calcifer
  • Year discovered: 2022
  • Country: Japan

The sea anemone known as Stylobates calcifer was first discovered in Japan in the year 2022. They were differentiated from other species based on the shape of their marginal sphincter muscle, the distribution of their cnidae, the direction of their oral disks, and host association.

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These sea creatures mostly live on the top of the hermit crab’s shell, where they attach themselves using a substance called carcinoecium. They were found in water that was between 100 and 400 meters deep all the way around the Pacific side of Honshu Island and Kyushu.

10. Tapir Valley tree frog

Tapir valley tree frog on a leaf
Tapir valley tree frog on a leaf | image by Juan G. Abarca via Wikimedia Commons | CC BY-SA 3.0
  • Scientific Name: Tlalocohyla celeste
  • Year discovered: 2022
  • Country: Costa Rica

The Tapir Valley tree frog is a new species that was just found in Costa Rica in 2022. They’re the fifth species in the genus Tlalocohyla and can only be seen in a 20-acre wetland in Tapir Valley Nature Reserve.

The new species is only 2 centimeters long, and half of its body is marked with a yellow line. They also have a brilliant green color, and the co-owner of the Tapir Valley Nature Reserve was the one who found them because of the unique frog call that they made.

11. Nimba Mountain bat

  • Scientific Name: Myotis nimbaensis
  • Year discovered: 2021
  • Country: Guinea

The Nimba Mountains in Guinea are home to a species of bat known as the orange-furred bat or the Nimba Mountain bat. They were discovered for the first time in 2018, and a team of scientists from the American Museum of Natural History decided that they were a new species in 2021.

Nimba Mountain bat is one of a kind because it’s orange and has blackish wings. They live in caves and abandoned mine tunnels, and while their diet is unknown, some speculate that it’s similar to that of their closest relative, the Cape hairy bat, which feeds primarily on beetles, tree bugs, flies, and ants.

12. Suzhen’s krait

  • Scientific Name: Bungarus suzhenae
  • Year discovered: 2021
  • Country: China and Myanmar

A new species of snake, known as the Suzhen’s krait, was discovered in the year 2021 and was named after the Chinese snake goddess of medicine, health, and true love. It’s a venomous snake found in rice fields and streams throughout southwestern China and northern Myanmar.

Like the other snakes in the genus Bungarus, this one is also black with white bands. They were different from other species because of the shape of their crossbands, the pattern on their tails, heads, and the middle of their bodies.

13. Nano-chameleon

  • Scientific Name: Brookesia nana
  • Year discovered: 2021
  • Country: Madagascar

Because it’s only 22 millimeters in length, the Nano-chameleon is thought to be a new contender for the title of “world’s smallest reptile.” This reptile was discovered in Madagascar and is a member of the genus Brookesia, which is composed of very small chameleons. Unlike other chameleons, they don’t change colors and aren’t arboreal since they tend to live on the forest floor.

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About Louise Robles

Louise writes about a wide variety of topics including wildlife, animals, and nature. She's developed a growing interest in animal biology and categorization due to her fascination with how they interact with one another and with their surroundings.