Finney’s bat

What’s Old Is New Again

It is summer in Wyoming. Bonnie Finney holds a large slab. She hammers a small wedge into the rock. A crack opens up. The slab pops open like a book.

Inside is a 50‑million-year-old bat fossil. It doesn’t look like any bat she’s ever seen before. It’s larger than normal and has a claw on each finger. More than 10 years later, scientists agree. The bat is from a long‑extinct species. They named the bat after Finney.

Flip Flop

Scientist Ingo Rechenberg looks at the sandy dunes in Morocco. Nothing is moving except waves of heat. Then he squints and spots a small spider.

Rechenberg studies robotics. He is interested in how things move. He tries to catch the spider. Suddenly, it flips and cartwheels away.

Rechenberg had never seen a spider move in this way. It was a new species. Now it’s called Cebrennus rechenbergi, the Moroccan flic‑flac spider.

Moroccan flic‑flac spider

Boy, Oh Boy!

Have you ever seen a jellyfish? The Bonaire banded box jelly (Tamoya ohboya) was spotted byat least 50 swimmers in 1989. It was given a nickname because no one knew what it was called.

Bonaire banded box jelly

In fact, it wasn’t officially named until 2011. A teacher came up with the name. Ohboya refers to “Oh, boy!” That’s for the expression you might use when you first see it.

Anyone can study the world around them and notice things. It’s called citizen science. Information people collect can be sent to scientists. It can make a difference in studying biodiversity on Earth.

There is so much to learn from new species—from adaptation to fighting disease. Discovering and studying new species is important now more than ever.