Well, I’m not sure this first species really is new to science; it’s one of 20 species depicted in a Salon gallery called “Rainforst yields new discoveries.” But many of these species were already known, like the margay cat of Central and South America (Leopardus wiedii).
So it’s not clear whether the planthopper shown below—in the order Hemiptera, or “true bugs”—is a previously unknown species, but it’s certainly weird. Some of the most bizarre-looking insects in the world are found among the planthoppers and their close relatives, the treehoppers (see photos here). Salon gives a caption:
Many planthopper species exude waxy secretions from the abdomen, and these sometimes form long strands, such as can be seen in this photo. The long waxy strands may provide protection from predators – it could be that they fool a predator into attacking the wrong part of the insect, and the wax breaks off while the insect jumps to safety.
Note that the front is to the right, where you can see the eye.
And look at this monster snake from Phil Torres’s Twitter feed, forwarded by Matthew Cobb:
This one is probably the green anaconda, Eunectes murinus, perhaps the heaviest snake or “squamate” (scaled reptile) in the world. Wikipedia notes the following, but also includes a long discussion (not given here) of the difficulties of determining the size of these snakes:
The green anaconda is the world’s heaviest and one of the world’s longest snakes, reaching more than 6.6 m (22 ft) long. More typical mature specimens reportedly can range up 5 m (16 ft), with the females, at around a mean length of 4.6 m (15 ft), being generally much larger in adulthood than the male, which averages around 3 m (9.8 ft). Weights are less well studied, though will reportedly range from 30 to 70 kg (66 to 150 lb) in an average-range adult. It is the largest snake native to the Americas. Although it is not as long as the Reticulated python, Eucentes murinus is probably the heaviest extant species of snake or squamate in the world, perhaps only rivaled by the Komodo dragon.
Can a green anaconda kill a human? There are records of two attacks, but neither was successful. But they’re big enough to kill deer, capybaras (the world’s largest rodents) and caimans. Regardless, I wouldn’t get as close to the snake as the people in the photo above!