discovered-speciesThese “missing links” of water fleas were found lurking in three small, murky ponds wedged in Oregon’s Agate Desert.

Specimens of this creature were collected by naturalists and sat on a laboratory shelf for five years before they were dissected and identified as a new species representing a family of completely unknown water fleas.

University of Wisconsin professor of zoology, Stanley Dodson, on whose shelf the exciting find lay neglected for half a decade (and who described this new species in the scientific journal Hydrobiologia) had this to say about this astonishing discovery:

“One hundred years after we thought we had everything there was at the family level, along comes this animal… It is incredibly unlikely that you’re going to find anything new and different today because people have been out collecting these things in North America for more than a hundred years. That’s why this is a special animal.”