A couple of California teenagers recently discovered new species of scorpions, previously unknown in science.
“Humans are dependent on biodiversity, and if we reduce biodiversity, we are reducing our opportunities to survive on this planet. And scorpions, along with other wildlife, are indicators of the extreme level of biodiversity that the desert has,” explains Cameron Barrows, an ecologist at the University of California, Riverside.
The pair of teens, Harper Forbes and Prakrit Jain, originally saw the unidentified scorpions on the collaborative science platform iNaturalist and later scoured California’s Soda Lake and Koehn Lake in search of the specimens. The hardworking teens found the two scorpions they were looking for, went through all the official steps in order to describe their findings, and are now the lead authors of a new paper introducing the new species: Paruroctonus soda and Paruroctonus conclusus. The teens were still in high school when they made the groundbreaking discovery.