Sunday, 21 May 2017

taxia or great chain of being

While it may seem a bit early in the year for annual superlatives, the state university of Syracuse, New York’s International Institute of Species Exploration of the campus’ College of Environmental Science and Forestry releases its list of top ten candidates of the most unexpected, unique finds of the animal and plant kingdoms to roughly coincide with the 23 May (1707) birthday of Carl Linnaeus, the founder of the discipline of taxonomy.
Inscribed to this year’s rolls include a sort of wild spicy tomato that appears to bleed when cut from Australia that’s propagated by bush fires, a spider whose camouflage resembles the Sorting Hat from Harry Potter matriculation ceremonies and a new species of Xenoturbella, a primitive marine worm that either resembles the missing half of an orphaned purple sock or fried churro pastry, depending who you ask. At a time when biodiversity is in grave peril and we have no idea about the natural innovation and wonders that we are losing without even the most superficial acquaintance, the institute wants to showcase the bizarre as a reminder that less than an estimated twenty percent of all species on Earth have yet been discovered and described and fewer still with any detail.