Top New Species of 2017

A lot has happened over the past year. But maybe the most exciting news for kids is the discovery of new animals. Spark children’s passion for STEM by introducing them to never before documented species. Then check out fun related activities from Nat Geo Kids! (And thanks to the International Institute for Species Exploration for inspiration!)

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SORTING HAT SPIDER

This little guy will make your kids wish they were headed to Hogwarts. Check out more about this spider—including which Harry Potter character it was named after—as well as a video of an amazing jumping spider. Then wow your kids with more magical HP facts.

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VANGUNU GIANT RAT

Scientists didn’t run screaming from this critter, even though it’s four times the size of a city rodent! Find out why this new species is so special, then check out another amazing rat. (Hint: It involves a surfboard!) Afterward, encourage your kids to explore their own backyard for wildlife.

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KING STINGRAY

How’d scientists miss this “king” until now? Learn all about the newly discovered creature, then watch this unbelievable video of another giant river stingray.

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DROGON ANT

This new species doesn’t prove dragons are real, but it is named after a certain Game of Thrones character. Check out which one, plus more about what makes this insect so incredible. Then share more crazy insect facts with your kids.