In this well-trodden world, the discovery of a species new to science is an exciting event, a glimmer of the uncharted riches of biodiversity still hidden around the globe. “Every year, as scientists explore the world’s ecosystems, search herbaria and fungaria, sequence organisms’ DNA and, increasingly, browse social media, they come across species of plants and fungi that have not been scientifically described,” says the “State of the World’s Plants and Fungi 2020” report, released in September by the Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew (RBG Kew). Many new species were described this year, including several snakes, frogs, insects, and even new primate species. Turning to the ocean, scientists spotted a beaked whale that may be a new species and a mysterious coiled siphonophore believed to be the longest animal ever recorded. This coiled siphonophore, found by the Schmidt Ocean Institute off the coast of Australia, is believed to be the largest animal ever recorded, measuring 46 meters (150 feet). Photo via Schmidt Ocean Institute. Plants and fungi also continue to represent an underexplored frontier of diversity. This year, the RBG Kew named 156 plants and fungi from Africa, Asia, the Americas, and the U.K. The Missouri Botanical Gardens recently named 10 charismatic plant discoveries from 2020, including a new species of ebony tree, a carnivorous sundew, and a new mint.  However, although a species may be new to science, that doesn’t mean it has never been seen or named. “Many species that are new to science are already known and used…This article was originally published on Mongabay Läs mer