The best of the Amazon’s 441 newly discovered species

A new monkey, a vegetarian piranha and other exotic finds

Topics: wildlife, World Wildlife Fund, endangered species, amazon, cute animals, ,

The best of the Amazon's 441 newly discovered speciesCaqueta titi monkey (Credit: Javier Garcia/WWF)

Since 2010, researchers deep in the Amazon have discovered and identified 258 species of plants, 84 fish, 22 reptiles, 18 birds and one mammal according to an exhaustive round-up from the World Wildlife Fund. The list, which doesn’t even include new insects and invertebrates, features a monkey that purrs like a cat, a piranha that subsists only on plant life and a large number of orchids.

Most of the plants and animals are thought to only exist in small pockets of rainforest, and nowhere else in the world, making the particularly vulnerable to deforestation and other threats. Some are already so endangered that it’s surprising researchers were able to spot them at all.

Below, some of the more fascinating finds:

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    Philippe Kok/WWF

    New species found in the Amazon

    The “thimble frog,” found in central Guyana, is already endangered -- its Latin name (Allobates amissibilis) means "that may be lost."

    Phillipe Kok/WWF

    New species found in the Amazon

    Despite this lizard's bright "war paint," its Latin name, Gonatodes timidus reflects its true nature, and helps explain why it had never before been spotted by humans.

    Javier Garcia/WWF

    New species found in the Amazon

    The sole mammal on the new list of species, the Caqueta titi monkey (Callicebus caquetensis) is one of about 20 species of titi monkey that live in the Amazon basin.

    João Batista Fernandes da Silva/WWF

    New species found in the Amazon

    One of the 258 new plant species identified, Passiflora longifilamentosa is a new type of passion flower that grows in Brazil.

    Tommaso Giarrizzo/WWF

    New species found in the Amazon

    This piranha, Tometes camunani, is a vegetarian, and subsists on river weeds.

    Philippe Kok/WWF

    New species found in the Amazon

    The Chrionius Challenger (Squamata: Colubridae), found at high elevations in Guyana and Venezuela, is named for a character from Arthur C. Doyle's The Lost World.

    U. Romer/WWF

    New species found in the Amazon

    Apistogramma cinilabra, adapted to extremely low oxygen levels, is thought to be unique to one small lake in Peru.

    Tiffany M. Doan/WWF

    New species found in the Amazon

    Eggs collected by researchers in Colombia hatched into Cercosaura hypnoides. The lizard hasn't been spotted in the wild since.

    Frank Warzel/WWF

    New species found in the Amazon

    The German researcher who discovered Dicrossus warzeli in Brazil named it after himself.

    Andre Cardoso/WWF

    New species found in the Amazon

    This pink orchid, Sobralia imavieirae, blooms in Brazil.

    F. Reyda/WWF

    New species found in the Amazon

    Potamotrygon tatianae is a new species of neotropical freshwater stingray found in Peru.

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Lindsay Abrams

Lindsay Abrams is a staff writer at Salon, reporting on all things sustainable. Follow her on Twitter @readingirl, email labrams@salon.com.

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