On 23 May,the International Institute for Species Exploration announced the annual top 10 new species for the sixth time. A committee of taxon experts led by Dr Antonio Valdecasas of the Museo Nacional de Ciencias Naturales in Madrid made the final selections. The list is a kind of scientific shock-and-awe campaign, shocking us at what we did not know about our own planet and leaving us in awe over the diversity, complexity, wonder and beauty of the living world. From new species of black-staining fungi that threatened the Palaeolithic cave paintings at Lascaux, France to the first old-world monkey to be discovered in Africa in 28 years, a beautiful shrub from Madagascar's disappearing littoral forests, a bioluminescent cockroach, and a violet from the high Andes that is barely 1cm tall, we are struck that the depth of Earth's living diversity is matched only by our ignorance of it.
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