Using its fins to walk, rather than swim, along the ocean floor in an undated picture, the pink handfish is one of nine newly named species described in a scientific review of the handfish family released in May.
Only four specimens of the elusive four-inch (ten-centimeter) pink handfish have ever been found, and all of those were collected from areas around the city of Hobart (map), on the Australian island of Tasmania.
2.)The Simpsons Toad
Nosing around for “lost” amphibian species in western Colombia in September, scientists stumbled across three entirely new species—including this beaked toad.
“Its long, pointy, snoutlike nose reminds me of the nefarious villain Mr. Burns from The Simpsons television series,” expedition leader Robin Moore said in a November statement.
This tube-nosed fruit bat—which became a Web sensation as “Yoda bat”—is just one of the roughly 200 species encountered during two scientific expeditions to Papua New Guinea in 2009, scientists announced in October.
Though seen on previous expeditions, the bat has yet to be formally documented as a new species, or even named. Like other fruit bats, though, it disperses seeds from the fruit in its diet, perhaps making the flying mammal crucial to its tropical rain forest ecosystem.