In this world where we talk of settling Mars, where the internet brings the world to us in megabits per second, it’s hard to imagine there’s much left to see on Earth. In truth, Earth is still an alien planet to us in many ways. We’ve identified somewhere in the neighborhood of 10-20% of the species on the planet. That’s around 1.2 to 1.3 million species of fern and fauna. For that reason alone, it would be impossible for any one person to know every animal out there. What follows are 25 you’ve likely never seen before. How many have you seen before? How many in the flesh, er, fur or scale?
Right away we have a bird that’s only been in humanity’s purview since 1996. This Brazilian beauty belongs in the Manakin family of birds. Like most manakins, the males and females look nothing alike. This is the male. The females are a ruddy green. By our best estimates, there are around 500 pairs of them still in the wild. Sir David Attenborough has championed the campaign to save the species.
This dolphin isn’t much larger than a person. They live on the Yangtze River in China, a heavily industrialized river. They are what conservationists call functionally extinct as we do not find them when we search anymore. Theirs may be the first dolphin driven to extinction by human activity alone.