Just how great is Australia’s biodiversity? Well scientists have named over 100 new Australian species by just going through the specimens they have lying around their archives:
The newly named maugean skate may go extinct before scientists have a chance to fully document it.
The skate–a type of ray–is among 113 new species of Australian sharks and rays discovered during a study of museum specimens, scientists at the Australian Commonwealth Scientific and Research Organization (CSIRO) announced this week.
The 18-month-long project used modern DNA techniques on creatures that had previously been only casually named. Many still lack an official moniker.
A living relic, the maugean skate has roamed the waters near southwestern Tasmania–an Australian island state–for hundreds of millions of years.
Yet overfishing and a tiny habitat of just three estuaries has already given it endangered status on the International Union for the Conservation of Nature’s Red List of Threatened Species. [National Geographic]
Just think this discovery is on top of the recent discovery of new species on the Great Barrier Reef.