A rare pygmy sloth that looks like a teddy bear – and can swim, a carnivorous pitcher plant and a fish with a face like a headlight. In the last 10 years, a staggering quarter of a million new species have been discovered, and DECADE OF DISCOVERY showcases the most extraordinary in a special Top 10. Premiering Sunday, June 26 at 9 p.m. ET/PT on Discovery Science, the one-hour special features creatures that no one dreamed ever existed. Hosted by wildlife expert Chris Packham, the incredible findings are paired with personal stories of the scientists and explorers who discovered them.
Remarkable species featured in DECADE OF DISCOVERY include:
– A giant orchid – phragmipedium kovachii – was smuggled out of Peru and became a global sensation when first seen in 2001. Now worth thousands, orchid breeders say the 20-centimetre flower is “like discovering a new species of elephant.”
– It’s the longest stick insect in the world – so far. The Megastick, at just over 56-centimetres long, is almost as long as a human arm. After it’s discovery in 2008, still very little is known about it, but it is safely stored in the Natural History Museum.
– The barreleye fish, already known as a species was filmed in the deep for the first time by the Monterey Bay Aquarium Research Institute (MBARI) in 2004. Its green orbs for eyes are directed upwards to detect prey in silhouette through its transparent head.
– A new species of one of the biggest Pitcher Plants – nepenthes palawanensis – was found on a remote mountain in the Philippines in 2010. The carnivorous plant is big enough to fit a fist inside and is filled with two-litres of fluid to trap unsuspecting insects.
– Discovered in 2008, the Langkawi bent-toed gecko is a forest gecko that’s adapted to living in a cave. The cave offers the gecko protection from pit vipers that lurk outside.
– The walking shark, found in 2006, helped save a reef in Indonesia by padding along the sea floor in shallow reef to feed.
– The big red jellyfish, one metre wide, has puzzled researchers since it’s 2003 discovery. What it feeds on is still a mystery…
– A new species of fork-marked lemur was discovered in Madagascar during filming in 2010.
– Caught on film in 2005, the grey-faced sengi – Swahili for elephant shrew – is not related to a shrew, but to an elephant… with a nose to match.