"The new species were found mostly in small patches of forest that remain in a largely agricultural landscape, highlighting the importance of forest conservation efforts in Central America," Longino said. These crawling, chomping mini-beasts perform many vital roles in ecosystems, such as aerating soil and pollinating plants.
When viewed under a microscope, they are the "stuff of nightmares," Longino added. "Their faces are broad shields, the eyes reduced to tiny points at the edges and the fierce jaws bristling with sharp teeth. They look a little like the monster in 'Alien.'"