Bringing the Ocean to Society
19 Mar 2020
The ten most remarkable new marine species from 2019
EurOcean Member celebrated the work of marine taxonomists around the planet.
On 19 March 2020, VLIZ celebrated all taxonomists: those who are busy day-to-day with discovering and describing new species. Many creatures living in our ocean are still unknown to humankind! Every year, the World Register of Marine Species (WoRMS) holds an election among its 500 contributing experts for their favorite newly discovered species. Check the list of their "darlings" and the story behind their discovery and naming!

As for previous years, the World Register of Marine Species (WoRMS) has released its annual list of top-ten marine species described by researchers during the year 2019 to coincide with World Taxonomist Appreciation Day - 19 March.

Every day in labs, museums, out on fieldwork, taxonomists are busy collecting, cataloging, identifying, comparing, describing and naming species new to science. Some 500 experts globally also contribute their valuable time to keeping the World Register of Marine Species up to date.

Today is a chance for us at WoRMS to thank all our editors for this important task. And VLIZ celebrates the work of taxonomists now with the WoRMS list of the top-ten marine species described in 2019 as nominated and voted for by taxonomists and journal editors. If you were unaware of this celebration of all the work that taxonomists do, you can find more on previous World Taxonomist Appreciation Day herehere, and here.

This top-ten list is just a small highlight of almost 2.000 fascinating new marine species discovered every year. Each of these marine animals has a story. This year the chosen species are in some cases particularly small, large, hidden or rather sparkly! We feature the unusual light-producing Christmas-Light Brittle Star and the Star-of-the-Sea Seed Shrimp; the tiny Brenner’s Bobtail Squid; cryptic Boring Amphipods and Green Rat Clingfish; and even a giant Mediterranean Branching Placozoan (well, giant for a placozoan…).

ESF list of the Top Ten Species described from all habitats and taxa on Earth has been announced annually since 2008. Although the oceans cover over 70% of the surface of our planet, and include the least explored regions, the ESF list often contains only one or two marine species.

VLIZ decided to pay homage to the ‘largest habitat on earth’ by producing our own list of the top marine species. 

Curious about the actual list and the stories behind the naming of each of the species? Check out the full press release on the LifeWatch website.

Link: lifewatch.be/en/2020.03.19-WoRMS-LifeWatch-press-release