Species, selected by an international committee of taxon experts, are not ranked or presented in any particular order. The top ten were selected from more than 140 nominated species out of an estimated 18,000 species named last year. To be eligible, species must have been described in compliance with the appropriate code of nomenclature, whether botanical, zoological, or microbiological, and have been officially named during calendar year 2012, the most recent year for which complete data exists. Committee members were free to use any criteria they wished, keeping in mind the purpose of the Top 10 to draw attention to biodiversity and the science and institutions engaged in its exploration. They were also encouraged to pay attention to taxonomic, geographic, and natural history diversity.
The top 10 list is released each year on or about Carolus Linnaeus’ birthday on May 23rd. Linnaeus is the “Father of Taxonomy” and his work in the mid 18th century was the beginning point for “modern” naming and classification of plants and animals.
The International Institute for Species Exploration is dedicated to the exploration, inventory, and classification of earth’s species, public awareness of the biodiversity crisis, advocacy for the important roles played by taxonomy and natural history museums, and in advancing cybertaxonomy, the application of cyber and digital tools to accelerate and improved comparative morphology, descriptive taxonomy, and phylogenetic classification.
The Top Ten Species Gallery
A news release is available on request.
For additional information or to request an interview, please contact:
Sandra Leander - 480-965-9865, Media Relations
Quentin Wheeler, Founding Director, IISE
You are also welcome to contact the chair or any of the members of the selection committee, whose e-mails are provided.....Here!
What on Earth? is a compendium of the 100 coolest, weirdest, and most intriguing new species of this century as determined by the International Institute for Species Exploration.
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