Orangutans are pretty amazing animals. They’re one of the few great apes alive today and among humankind's closest cousins. But we may not have realized just how amazing they are until now.

The discovery started with a scene out of something like "CSI." Raya, an older adult male orangutan, had been killed by humans back in 2013. Researchers knew Raya had come from an unusual population of orangutans and had preserved his skeleton for study. And as they pored over the remains, a couple of weird things started to stick out.

"We were surprised that the skull was quite different in some characteristics from anything we had seen before," said Matt Nowak, an anthropologist. The teeth looked different too.

Keep Reading Show less
Most Shared

Hold onto your butts because we got more new species than "Game of Thrones" reaction threads.

In 2014-15, humans discovered 381 new species of plants and animals hidden in the Amazon rainforest, according to a new report from the World Wildlife Fund and the Mamirauá Institute for Sustainable Development.

Part of a regular review conducted by the agency, this round included some pretty amazing specimens — a pink river dolphin, a fire-tailed titi monkey, a yellow-moustached lizard, a bird named after Barack Obama (one more species in a long line of exciting creatures and plants named after the former president), and a honeycomb-patterned stingray.

Keep Reading Show less
Most Shared

Like Yoda, these creatures look. Worry about copyright infringement, nature should.

Just in time for May the Fourth, the nerdiest holiday, two oddly familiar-looking new species of tarsier — a small, nocturnal primate — have been discovered in Indonesia, according to a paper published in Primate Conservation.

While Stuart Freeborn, the man who designed Yoda, has said he modeled the muppet on himself, it's hard to deny a certain resemblance.

Gursky's spectral tarsier, one of the new species. Oh, and a muppet too. Photos from Myron Shekelle and Lucasfilm.

Keep Reading Show less
Most Shared