Saturday, July 15, 2006

 

India 'I Spy A New Fly'

There's more life in India than we have counted so far. Yet, for a change this population increase in our country is not at all crisis-inducing.

It's being counted as a blessing and is being celebrated as our contribution to global biodiversity. This good news story begins with ecologically significant events from the recent past.

Like the first scientific sighting of a primate, Macaca munzala, in the Arunachal Pradesh's forests. It's the first new macaque species to be identified in a hundred years. About the same time came the discovery of a Jurassic frog in the Western Ghats. Ancestors of this primitive and purple-bodied pignose frog originally hopped around the Gondwana landmass before the Indian subcontinent was created.

And in the Northeast, wildlife experts are trying to capture on camera the spectacular green, crimson and grey-feathered Liochichla, a possible new bird species that may soon expand our avian horizons.

Of course, none of these beings are new to the earth. Unclassified and unstudied so far, the significance of these species comes from being "new to science" and formal studies such as DNA analysis, community ecology and biogeography.

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