First, the past. A coelacanth fossil discovered by accident turns out to be amazing. The coelacanth may be five meters long, far larger than any prehistoric or modern coelacanth (1.5m is a normal adult specimen.)
Speaking of coelacanths, because the modern one looks very much like its ancestor (hence the rather problematic term "living fossil"), its genome has diverged quite a bit from prehistoric examples. That doesn't make the modern one any less important, but it's very interesting. When the living animal's genome was sequenced in 2013, sceintists thoought it had changed very little.
As for newly discovered life, news from Antarctica startled pretty much everybody. Life has pushed into all kinds of unlikely and hostile environments, but no one thought life, especially multicellular life, would turn up at the bottom of a 900-meter hole drilled through the Antarctice ice sheet. The animals are presumably chemosynthetic, but the details have everyone puzzled, and will until samples are obtained. Which, of course, is no easy task.
"Life finds a way." - Dr. Ian Malcom