26 Feb 2024

3 New Species Discovered in 2023


Did you know that around 18,000 new species of animals, plants, and fungi are found every year? Here, we will look at 3 of our favourite animal species that were discovered in 2023.


Hannans’ Pygmy Squid (Kodama jujutsu)

These squids, discovered in the coral reefs off the coast of Japan, are TINY. Around the size of a pinky fingernail. They’re also really cute too! Their scientific name tells us a lot about what the species is like. Kodama are forest spirits that appear in healthy forests, like the environment the squid lives in. Jujutsu is a Japanese martial art that involves using the power of your opponent. This tiny squid will prey on animals bigger than themselves using their tentacles like they’re fighting.

Source: Brandon Ryan Hannan


Dalek wasp (Dalek nationi)

The scientists at the Natural History Museum discovered 815 species in 2023. The Dalek wasp was one of them! It’s a small, iridescent wasp from Costa Rica that’s named after the characters from Doctor Who. The scientists decided to use this name to celebrate the 60th Anniversary of the TV show.


The Giant Penguin (Kumimanu fordycei)

For our last pick, we’ve chosen a species that is now extinct. Yes, that’s right! Scientists commonly discover species that have not been around for a long time, but we can still tell a lot about them by what we find.

The Giant Penguin, whose fossils were discovered by researchers in New Zealand, is the largest penguin species ever (about the size of the Giant Panda!).

Whilst these species would have existed around 50 million years ago, it is still exciting that they’ve been discovered today. It makes us think about all the animals that existed before us that we still don’t know about.


We love to see the work that scientists and researchers do to protect and understand our natural world. Which species was your favourite? Let us know!

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