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Your Questions About How To Discover New Species

Mark asks…

What do you call the extinction of a species that we didn’t know existed?

I remember learning about an area that was discovered to have some new plant species, and then when the scientists went back to look at them, they found that the area had been destroyed by fire and the species have never been found since. But I can’t remember the name of the area or what they named that type of extinction.

New Niche Finder answers:

I don’t think I’ve ever heard of such a term.

We know, from the paltry rate of fossilization, that we know of only a tiny fraction of all the species that have ever existed and gone extinct.

But scientists will not name a species, or declare that it existed, unless they have some evidence of what it looked like. So, by definition, if we “didn’t know it existed”, then this means that we have no evidence (no fossil, sample, or photograph of the species) … So a scientist will have a hard time convincing people that he or she really discovered these unknown species. If, however, somebody gathered a sample, or took photographs, then that’s a different matter … But then we would not say that we “didn’t know it existed.”

Could you perhaps be thinking of cryptozoology? This is an informal name given to the study of species whose existence is (as living species) is in doubt because we cannot verify that they still exist (or ever existed).

For example, the thylacine is a marsupial carnivore species for which we have photographs, films, and even stuffed examples (like we do of the dodo bird). But even though we occasionally get claimed sightings or even blurry videos of thylacines, we are not really sure they still exist, or have gone extinct.

Richard asks…

What is the name of the genus of the most hallucinogenic mushroom?

My step father is from Australia, and he went to Antarctica or some place like that and discovered a mushroom. Its species name is Owensi, after my step father, and I want to know the genus. It is supposed to be, like, the most hallucinogenic mushroom in the world. Its color is black.
Can you help? Thanks.

New Niche Finder answers:


Mary asks…

Zebra mussels were first discovered in the Great Lakes thirty years ago and have since spread to lakes through?

Multiple choices are:
1.Native species will begin to interbreed with zebra mussels.

2.Native species populations w ill decrease in areas with large zebra mussel populations

3.Individuals of the native species will mutate to become more similar to zebra mussels

4.Individuals of the native species will mutate to become less similar to zebra mussels

Solve this for me?

New Niche Finder answers:

The solution is that they have spread through other lakes by birds and other animals transporting them and by people who have contaminated boats going from one lake to another. The 4 choices you presented as answers are totally incorrect.

Ken asks…

Why is it that strange animal species have been discovered almost everyday for quite some time?

What does it mean?
Did some animal species/ or mankind continuously disturb their natural habitation that leads for them
to go out?
or these species are looking for food anywhere maybe because theirs are becoming scarce?

New Niche Finder answers:

Maybe the right answer is the increase number of researcher on field.. Come to think of it, will any general people will realized that an animal is a new species? There must be some kind of expert searching for it.. As some species like butterfly are almost similar.. Maybe..

Sharon asks…

How in the world did these guys at the reptile expo get a torch monitor!?

So I was watching some video and this dude was selling a baby torch monitor for 2,000! y’all don’t know torch monitor is a new monitor species discovered in 2010. My thing is how did he get his hand on a newly discovered species, since you know the have all those laws and conservation issues since they where just discovered and want to figure out there population.. Im pretty sure it was wild caught. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Varanus_obor

New Niche Finder answers:

There is nothing worth reporting to the authorities. As long as there is some trace to legal CITES documentation of it’s import into the U.S., there’s nothing really that can be done here. The legal & illegal reptile trade out of indonesia, papua, & new guinea is HUGE. They pay underprivileged indigenous people in villages a pittance for anything they can bring, then ship them out. Allot of this is done under the guise of farms, where in many areas it’s legal to breed wild caught animals, and ship out the offspring. But the record keeping in many of these places is poor, and the government & international oversight is even worse, so thousands of wild caught animals are shipped out documented as being breed on a farm. Or just hidden in a shipment, or labeled incorrectly in the CITES documentation, as with such little oversight on the indonesian end, it’s not hard too slip in. A few extra animals labeled incorrectly.

Just curious, which show was this? And which vendor had them for sale? There are some reputable farms and exporters out there, most notably Bushmaster.

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