British scientists have identified more than 500 new species in 2020, including scarab beetles from New Guinea and a new type of monkey found on an extinct volcano in Myanmar.
Experts from the Natural History Museum in London have discovered a huge number of species previously unknown to science including new lichens, wasps, miniature tarantulas and a lungless worm salamander.
Dr Tim Littlewood, executive director of science at the Natural History Museum, said: "In a year when the global mass of biodiversity is being outweighed by human-made mass it feels like a race to document what we are losing.
"Five hundred and three newly discovered species reminds us we represent a single, inquisitive and immensely powerful species with the fate of many others in our hands."
Scientists have named nearly two million different forms of life on Earth but there are thought to be more than the 8.7 million species previously estimated.
The most spectacular discovery of 2020 was the Popa langur, a new species of monkey, that is already considered to be close to extinction with just 200 to 260 left in the wild.
Isle of Wight moved from Tier 1 to Tier 4 in space of a week as cases spiral
It lives on the side of an extinct volcano in Myanmar and was identified using skins and bones that have been in the museum's collection for over 100 years.
Experts from the renowned museum discovered 70 new wasp species and three new species of bee.
This included the Bombus tibeticus, one of the highest-dwelling species of bumblebee in the world as it was discovered at a brain-freezing 5,660 metres above sea level on the Tibetan plateau in Mongolia.
Also among the new discoveries are nine new species of moths, six types of centipedes, nine flatworms and one butterfly.
The biggest discovery was in the beetles family, with a huge 170 new species identified by scientists.
These included riffle beetles from Brazil and scarab beetles from New Guinea.
A new kind of seaweed has also been discovered, called Corallina chamberlainiae, a delicate-looking seaweed found in the chilly south Atlantic waters off the Falkland Islands.
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