Itty Bitty Algae
Called Thalassiosira trifulta, the diatom was discovered as part of an ongoing project to catalog animal diversity on the Korean Peninsula (map). Split into three three-year phases the Korean biodiversity initiative started in 2006 and is slated to run until 2014.
So far, 694 species have been found during the second phase of the project, running from 2009 to 2011. Of these, 420 species were known to science but are new to South Korea, while 274 species are entirely new to science.
The diatom, which forms chainlike colonies, was discovered in Pohang, a coastal city in South Korea's Gyeongbuk Province, according to Kim Min-Ha, manager of the Korean indigenous species project at the National Institute of Biological Resources (NIBR).
Most of the newly unveiled species are microscopic—no new mammals or large animals have been found so far.