New species galore!

Philippines reveals 300 new species

The next few months will be spent analyzing and DNA-sequencing more than 300 species discovered during the most comprehensive marine and terrestrial survey ever conducted in the Philippines, according to a California Academy of Sciences press release.

This past spring, scientists and educators from the academy teamed up with more than two dozen colleagues from the Philippines to conduct the 42-day 2011 Philippine Biodiversity Expedition on Luzon Island, the largest island in the Philippine archipelago, and in its surrounding waters. The area is known as a hotspot for diverse and at-risk life on Earth, and scientists estimate most of the species found—such as a “laughing” cicada and a starfish that only eats sunken driftwood—were formerly either undiscovered or not recorded.

The expedition concluded with a full-day symposium at the University of the Philippines June 8.