Biodiversity: Top 10 species of 2008

World - The International Committee for the exploration and classification of species has published its annual report on new plant and animal species discovered during recent years and proposes a "top 10" by experts.

In 2007, it is not less than 18,516 new species have been discovered in the world, we learn in this report. An impressive number and yet paltry compared to 1.8 million species already classified and named.

"Most people do not realize how much our knowledge of species on Earth is incomplete, and the constant speed at which taxonomists are exploring that diversity. We are surrounded by such abundance in species diversity that we often take everything for granted, says Quentin Wheeler, director of the International Institute for Species Explorations.

The "top 10" 2008 has been directed by a committee of experts free to choose their own criteria and it is a giant palm tops the ranking. Discovered by chance by a family on a hike in Madagascar, there have been 100 specimens. This tree exhausts all its energy during its flowering period and is now in a state close to death.

We also find in this classification the largest insect in the world: a stick whose body is over 35 cm long. But also the smallest ever discovered hippocampus which measures just over 13 mm, a tiny snake of 104 mm or the blue cousin of Nemo, as known by the experts.

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