Say hello to the rose-veiled fairy wrasse, a colorful species new to science and the first fish to be described by a Maldivian scientist, Ahmed Najeeb. Cirrhilabrus finifenmaa was found living at ocean depths of 131 to 229 feet (40 to 70 meters). The name honors the fish's stunning pink hues, and the pink rose, the national flower of the Maldives. "Finifenmaa" means "rose" in the local Dhivehi language.
The Jorō spider, a large arachnid native to southeastern Asia, can grow to about the size of your palm or larger. Trichonephila clavata spread to the southeastern United States nearly a decade ago and now could soon spread into the US Northeast.
Previously known as "gypsy moth," the species Lymantria dispar is now "spongy moth," according to the Entomological Society of America. The moth's new name was chosen from more than 200 nominations evaluated by a group of more than 50 scientists convened by the society. The word "gypsy" is an ethnic slur offensive to the Romani people.
Entomological Society of America
Chimpanzees in Gabon's Loango National Park have been spotted capturing insects and applying them to their own wounds, and the wounds of others, possibly as a form of medication. This behavior has never been observed before and may be a sign of empathy in chimpanzees, according to a study published in February 2022. This photo shows Roxy, a female chimpanzee, applying an insect to a wound of an adult male chimp named Thea.
Caputo, Joseph N. (ELS-CMA)
Deep in the ocean off the coast of Tahiti, scientists made an incredible discovery in November 2021: acres of pristine, giant, rose-shaped corals blossoming from the seafloor in what's known as the "twilight zone." That a coral reef so large and so beautiful had yet to be discovered emphasizes how little we still know about the world's oceans.
Taksinus bambus, a newly discovered species of tarantula, was found by Thai YouTube star JoCho Sippawat in Tak province, northwestern Thailand. The spider is the first known tarantula to only dwell in bamboo stalks.
courtesy Narin Chomphuphuang
Pandas are famously picky eaters. They only consume bamboo -- a poor-quality diet low in fat. But the creatures appear to have evolved to get the most out of what they do eat. According to a study published in January 2022, their gut bacteria changes when bamboo is at its most nutritious -- while it's sprouting protein-rich green shoots. A wild panda named "Happiness," who was part of the study, is pictured here in Foping Nature Reserve, Shaanxi province, China, in 2013.
Courtesy Dr. Fuwen Wei
A breeding colony of 60 million fish has been discovered in Antarctica's ice-covered Weddell Sea -- a unique and previously unknown ecosystem that covers an area the size of Malta. The nests are evenly spaced and typically guarded by one adult icefish (Neopagetopsis ionah).