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The biggest new species discoveries in 2011

December 31, 2011

Every year scientists describe thousands of species for the first time. 2011 was no different, so here's a look at some of the significant new species discoveries for the year.

Herpetologists announced the discovery of dozens of previously unknown frog and toad species, including the world's tiniest frogs, the size of a Tic Tac, in New Guinea; several types in Vietnam, including one that sings like a bird; and more than two dozen in India and Sri Lanka. But an expedition launched to find 100 species of 'lost frogs' turned up only four species, highlighting the many risks facing amphibians.

Among reptiles, 2011 seemed to be the year of the viper: at least three species were described, including two pit vipers in Southeast Asia and a stunning new viper in Tanzania.

Matilda’s horned viper. Photo by: Tim Davenport.

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