Science

Bizarre new type of fungus discovered thanks to Twitter and named after the social media channel

Ana Sofia Reboleira pointed out that the discovery is an example of how sharing information on social media can yield completely unexpected results.

“As far as we know, this is the first time a new species has been discovered on Twitter. It emphasizes the importance of these platforms for sharing research – and that it will enable them to achieve new results,” she said. “I hope it will motivate professional and amateur researchers to share more data on social media. This is something that has become more and more obvious during the coronavirus crisis, a time when many people have been prevented from working in the field or in laboratories to get. ”

Reboleira believes that social media in general is playing an increasingly important role in research.

On the other hand, she emphasized that the result was made possible by the fact that she had access to one of the largest biological collections in the world.

“Thanks to our huge museum collection, it was relatively easy to confirm that we were indeed looking at a species that was completely new to science. It shows how important museum collections are. There is much more to these collections than we know,” said Reboleira.

The entomological collection – literally the collection of the insects but historically the concept has been broadened to include specimens of other terrestrial arthropods such as spiders and centipedes, and even earthworms and snails – from the Natural History Museum of Denmark is one of the largest in the world with more than 3.5 million pin specimens and at least as many insect-preserved insects. It includes some 100,000 species out of a total of 1.3 million described species.

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