There are still way more kinds of creatures out there than science knows about — we're discovering new species all the time, and it always seems like the new ones are the weirdest yet. The World Wildlife Fund just released info about their 2010 discoveries in Asia's Mekong River region, which traverses Vietnam, Thailand, Myanmar, Cambodia, and China. Among the new finds: A monkey with a pompadour and (effectively) no nose, nicknamed "Snubby."
This description of Snubby from the report cannot be improved upon:
Locals claim that the black and white monkey is very easy to find when it is raining because the monkeys often get rainwater in their upturned noses causing them to sneeze. To avoid this evolutionary inconvenience, snub-nosed monkeys spend rainy days sitting with their heads tucked between their knees.
Snubby's pals include a psychedelic orange and purple gecko, a fish that looks like a gherkin, and a species of skink that has no males and reproduces via parthenogenesis — i.e. it clones itself. These were discovered when scientists stumbled on them in a restaurant, which is a story you hear sometimes about models and actresses but rarely about self-cloning lizards. (The models and actresses are not usually in the restaurant because they're being sold as food, though.)
The Mekong region has exceptional biodiversity, and species are discovered there at an average rate of one every two days. Last year's totals reached 208 new species, although 145 of them were plants and therefore relatively boring except the five carnivorous plants which are cool.
New species discovered every two days in the Mekong, WWF.
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