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Top 10 Species of 2015

The 2015 Top 10 Species list is compiled annually by the International Institute for Species Exploration or IISE. It calls attention to discoveries that are made even as species are going extinct faster than they are identified. Scientists believe 10 million species await discovery, five times the number that are already known to science. IISE founding director Quentin Wheeler says, “The Top 10 is a reminder of the wonders awaiting us.”
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This new dinosaur, dubbed the “chicken from Hell,” was a contemporary of the more famous T. rex. Three well-preserved partial Anzu wyliei skeletons were discovered in North and South Dakota, in the Hell Creek Formation. The bird-like dinosaur stood 1.5 meters high, was 3.5 meters from beak to tail, and weighed as much as 300 kilos. (Carnegie Museum of Natural History)
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This new dinosaur, dubbed the “chicken from Hell,” was a contemporary of the more famous T. rex. Three well-preserved partial Anzu wyliei skeletons were discovered in North and South Dakota, in the Hell Creek Formation. The bird-like dinosaur stood 1.5 meters high, was 3.5 meters from beak to tail, and weighed as much as 300 kilos. (Carnegie Museum of Natural History)

These peculiar tubers of the Balanophora coralliformis give this root parasite from the Philippines a coral-like appearance. The plant, which draws its nutrition from other living plants, is found only on the southwestern slopes of Mt. Mingan. (P.B. Pelser & J.F. Barcelona)
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These peculiar tubers of the Balanophora coralliformis give this root parasite from the Philippines a coral-like appearance. The plant, which draws its nutrition from other living plants, is found only on the southwestern slopes of Mt. Mingan. (P.B. Pelser & J.F. Barcelona)

The agile Cebrennus rechenbergi uses its gymnastic talents in the Moroccan desert to cartwheel out of danger. The spider’s behavior inspired a robot that can walk or roll in a similar way. (Ingo Rechenbert, Technical University Berlin)
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The agile Cebrennus rechenbergi uses its gymnastic talents in the Moroccan desert to cartwheel out of danger. The spider’s behavior inspired a robot that can walk or roll in a similar way. (Ingo Rechenbert, Technical University Berlin)

These multicellular animals, Dendrogramma enigmatica and D. discoides, are found on the sea bottom off Australia’s southeast coast. They resemble fossils from Precambrian time, the beginning of life on the planet. (Jorgen Olsen)
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These multicellular animals, Dendrogramma enigmatica and D. discoides, are found on the sea bottom off Australia’s southeast coast. They resemble fossils from Precambrian time, the beginning of life on the planet. (Jorgen Olsen)

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