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Wow! These 5 New Animal Species Were Discovered in 2023

Science in The World presents you: new animal species that were discovered in 2023!

The animal world is fantastic, and there’s so much to discover and see! Do you know that when kids are little, their parents teach them everything they know about the animal kingdom, and they slowly but surely learn more and more each day?

Well, what I’m trying to say is that the learning period isn’t over, although childhood is, and in today’s article, we’ll talk about some new animal species experts discovered in 2023.

Speaking of that, taxonomists describe thousands and thousands of new living species every year, and they’re so interesting and special that we have to talk about them.

There are times when these new animal species are completely new and have never been studied by researchers before, and sometimes there are cases of species and subspecies that have to be closely examined so that scientists can say for sure whether they’re different or not.

Paleontologists also came to play, and they studied fossils, bones, and fossilized dung, which helped them discover some new animal species that are pretty exciting. So, are you ready to dive into the animal kingdom? Then let’s begin because we have many new animal species to cover today!

new animal species
Photo by Hsu Wen-Yu from

1. Stream treefrog (Hyloscirtus tolkieni), Ecuador

The stream treefrog is the first of these new animal species that experts discovered in 2023. Even though scientists only discovered one little frog, it was enough evidence for them to conclude that it’s part of a new species. The reason for this is that it was distinct enough in its incredible morphology from other species in the Hyloscirtus genus.

The cute stream treefrog was found on the southern eastern slopes of the Cordillera Oriental, a chain of Andean mountains in the Ro Negro-Sopladora National Park of Ecuador, and experts didn’t notice any other animals from the same family there.

This particular genus of treefrogs is called stream treefrogs because they’re typically found near streams, in which they breed. For this special species, the work “tolkieni” was specially chosen in honor of the beloved author J.R.R. Tolkien, who wrote fabulous books like “The Lord of the Rings” and “The Hobbit”.

The experts say that the color of these new animal species recalls the wonderful creatures that seem to only exist in magnificent fantasy worlds.

2. DiCaprio’s snail-eating snake (Sibon irmelindicaprioae), Panama and Colombia

Something interesting about these new animal species is that their names aren’t only chosen by scientific criteria, but also by celebrities and famous people who inspire them, such as the Hyloscirtus tolkieni we’ve previously talked about. But hey, in this case, we have to say a couple of words about DiCaprio’s snail-eating snake because it is part of the new animal species experts discovered in 2023.

Speaking of which, this snake is a tree-dwelling species and is classified as near threatened due to the fact that its distribution consists of plenty of large areas with untouched forests. Even though parts of its habitat have been converted to pasture, the species is perhaps not declining fast enough to qualify for the threatened category.

These new snakes that love eating snails are common in 16 localities in Colombia and Panama, and one of the most interesting aspects about them is that the not-so-easy-to-pronounce epithet “irmelindicaprioae” honors beautiful Irmelin DiCaprio, the mother of beloved actor Leonardo DiCaprio, who chose the name of this new snake species.

new animal species
Photo by feathercollector from

3. Gymnures (Podogymnura intermedia and P. minima), Philippines

P. intermedia looks like a cute shrew thanks to its pointed nose and golden-brown fur, but it actually belongs to a group of mammals that are popularly known as gymnures. Some people might know them as moonrats or hairy hedgehogs, and they’re closely related to hedgehogs (just like peaches and nectarines, *joking*).

Like every other member of the Podogymnura genus, the cute P. intermedia is found in the gorgeous Philippines, and it was found at the time of a survey on the mountains of eastern Mindanao, a place where researchers had never conducted surveys for mammals before.

Even though people and conservation groups do everything they can to preserve these new animal species’ homelands, they might be threatened by habitat destruction and degradation if agriculture and mining expand in the area.

4. Bent-toed gecko (Cyrtodactylus santana), Democratic Republic of Timor-Leste

The last new animal species we’re going to talk about in today’s article was found in the Democratic Republic of Timor-Leste, the world’s fourth-youngest country. When researchers were looking for new animal species, they discovered that this area was full of bent-toed geckos.

Scientists wanted to know more about these tiny animals, but catching them wasn’t exactly one of the easiest things. They found it during the day in the Lene Hara cave in Nino Konis Santana National Park, but catching one seemed almost impossible.

However, they didn’t give up, and they returned at night because these small creatures are nocturnal and less jumpy. Mission accomplished, because scientists managed to catch no less than 10 geckos, just enough to draw some conclusions. Thanks to their researchers, they discovered through morphological and genetic analysis that those geckos were indeed an undescribed species.

The reason why it was hard for researchers to conduct biological studies that were able to tell them more about the new animal species there was the fact that there were a lot of violent episodes and unrest prior to Timor-Leste’s independence, so experts believe that there are many other new animal species there waiting to be discovered.

But since we’ve talked about the names of these new animal species, it’s time to say a couple of things about the epithet “santana” and where it came from.

Experts discovered that this word was actually inspired by the Nino Konis Santana National Park, the place where it was found. The bent-toed geckos are named Cyrtodactylus Santana in memory of the brave freedom fighter Nino Konis Santana, who was born within the impressive boundaries of the park.

new animal species
Photo by kubais from

5. 3 million years old moles (Talpa hakkariensis and Talpa davidiana tatvanensis), Turkey

The next new animal species we’re going to talk about now are a little more special, and you’ll see why in a second. Experts decided to go to Turkey this time and search for new species in the animal kingdom, and what they discovered were two new mole species, Talpa davidiana tatvanensis and Talpa hakkariensis.

But the thing that took their breaths away was the fact that those moles are more likely to have lived underground in the last 3 million years. Can you imagine that? They’re older than all the humans on the planet (probably).

While experts said that it is very difficult to discover new species of mammals, especially since there are around 6,500 mammal species on the globe, these special moles can survive under 6 feet of snow in winter (that’s surely a new meaning for the word “underground”) and thrive in temperatures of up to 122 degrees Fahrenheit in summer. What can we say? This discovery is indeed impressive!

If you want to know more about new animal species that experts have discovered throughout the years, I recommend you check out this book because it’s full of useful insights about the animal kingdom. Check it out here!

If you want to read something else from Science in The World, here’s an article you don’t want to miss: 6 Common Reasons Why People Lie, According to Science


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