Deep in Suriname, Thousands of Undiscovered Species Cartwheel, Hop, and Drum

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In this photo taken Aug. 13, 2010, an agouti rodent eats around roots and trees in Brownsberg Nature Park, about 80 miles south of Paramaribo, Suriname.

Richard Conniff joins us to discuss his recent article for the March 2017 issue of Smithsonian: “The New Age of Discovery” (online title: “A New Age of Discovery Is Happening Right Now in the Remote Forests of Suriname”). From a cartwheeling spider to a fish that hops on its fins and a katydid species that uses drumming to communicate, scientists are finding about 18,000 new species each year. Conniff reveals that so far, humans have identified about 2 million species, and the total number may be anywhere from 10 million to 100 million. He traveled to the remote country of Suriname on the northeastern coast of South America to take a firsthand look at what species discovery is all about.