New Species of Plants and Animals Discovered

New Species of Plants and Animals Discovered

Oculudentavis khaungraaePrelims OnlyPriority 1


Scientists have found the skull of a 99-million-year-old flying dinosaur that is tinier than the tiniest bird known to humans.

  • The bird-like dinosaur was found stuck in a gob of tree resin that eventually hardened into amber, preserving it for millions of years to come.
  • The fossil was dug up in 2016 from a mine in Myanmar. It was so slight; it likely weighed just 2 grams.
  • The dinosaur skull holds around 100 sharp teeth, which hints at its ferocious nature despite its small size.
  • It even had teeth in the back of its jaw, under its eye.

 

New Species of Plants and Animals Discovered

In news: YaravirusPrelims Only

Note4Students

From UPSC perspective, the following things are important :

Prelims level : Yaravirus

Mains level : NA


In a lake in Brazil, researchers have discovered a virus that they find unusual and intriguing.

Yaravirus

  • The Yaravirus infects amoeba and has genes that have not been described before, something that could challenge how DNA viruses are classified.
  • It has a puzzling origin and phylogeny (evolutionary relationship).
  • Because of the Yaravirus’s small size, it was unlike other viruses that infect amoeba and they named it as a tribute to Yara, the “mother of waters” in the mythological stories of the Tupi-Guarani indigenous tribes.
  • The virus does not infect human cells, according to the researchers.
New Species of Plants and Animals Discovered

Indian bull frog: the Andamans’ new colonisersPrelims Only


The Indian bullfrog

Note4students

Mains Paper 3: Environment | Conservation, environmental pollution and degradation, environmental impact assessment

From UPSC perspective, the following things are important:

Prelims level: Indian bullfrog (Hoplobatrachus tigerinus), Indian Wildlife Act 1972, Convention on Biological Diversity, IUCN

Mains level: Invasive species and threat posed by them on native species and biodiversity


New frog species

  1. A recent migrant to the Andaman island is the Indian bullfrog (Hoplobatrachus tigerinus)
  2. The bullfrog is found widely in mainland India and protected under Schedule IV of the Indian Wildlife Act 1972
  3. It is steadily occupying the islands’ ecosystem and threatening the local economy

Man-Frog conflict

  1. The voracious animal gulps down anything that would fit in its jaws: centipedes, leeches, native frogs, lizards, small snakes, and even chicks and ducklings, which are an important source of food for the islanders
  2. An unusual man-frog conflict is brewing due to this

Why are bullfrogs a threat on islands?

  1. Bullfrogs are found all over mainland India, but it is in the unique ecosystem of the islands that it becomes a major threat
  2. Unlike the mainland, resources on the islands are scarce for big animals, while natural calamities are more frequent
  3. The wildlife here has evolved in a miniature setting: there are no large herbivores (the largest is the Andaman wild pig) or large carnivores

Focus on invasive species

  1. Globally, invasive species, particularly in islands, are becoming the focus of numerous organisations
  2. The Convention on Biological Diversity has said that invasives have contributed to 40% of all animal extinctions since the 17th century
  3. The IUCN has formulated guidelines for managing invasives specifically in islands, largely involving data collection, community engagement, policy measures and management plans
New Species of Plants and Animals Discovered

Indian plant seed could bring clean water to millionsPriority 1


plant--agencies

Note4students

Mains Paper 3: Environment | Conservation, environmental pollution and degradation, environmental impact assessment

From UPSC perspective, the following things are important:

Prelims level: Moringa oleifera plant, F-sand

Mains level: Innovative methods to deal with water pollution


Plant to purify water

  1. Proteins from the Moringa oleifera plant can help effectively purify water in developing nations at a low cost
  2. The plant – commonly known as the drumstick tree – is cultivated for food and natural oils, and the seeds are already used for a type of rudimentary water purification
  3. The Moringa oleifera plant tree is native to India and grows well in tropical and subtropical climates

F-sand

  1. Sand and plant materials have been to create a cheap and effective water filtration medium, termed “f-sand”
  2. F-sand was created by extracting the seed proteins from the Moringa oleifera plant, and adhering them to the surface of silica particles, the principal component of sand
  3. It kills microorganisms and reduces turbidity, adhering to particulate and organic matter
New Species of Plants and Animals Discovered

New frog species takes historical name of Goa


Image source

Note4students

Mains Paper 3: Environment | Conservation, environmental pollution and degradation, environmental impact assessment

From UPSC perspective, the following things are important:

Prelims level: Fejervarya goemchi

Mains level: Biodiversity of India and ways to conserve it


Attaching Goa’s name to wildlife

  1. In the highland plateaus of the Western Ghats parts of Goa, scientists have identified a new species of frog called Fejervarya goemchi
  2. The new species is named after the historical name of the state of Goa where the species is discovered

Unique features

  1. In monsoons, many of these large-sized terrestrial frogs sit next to water bodies making calls to attract females for mating and breeding
  2. Most of these frogs are terrestrial but they need water bodies to continue for survival
  3. The new species is found in the high elevation areas of laterite plateaus, temporary water bodies and paddy fields of Goa
New Species of Plants and Animals Discovered

Western Ghats reveal world’s smallest land fern


Image source

Note4students

Mains Paper 3: Environment | Conservation, environmental pollution and degradation, environmental impact assessment

From UPSC perspective, the following things are important:

Prelims level: Adder’s-tongue ferns, Ophioglossum malviae

Mains level: Biodiversity of western ghats and measures needed to conserve it


News

Smallest fern discovered

  1. Indian researchers have discovered the world’s smallest land fern hiding in the Ahwa forests of the Western Ghats in Gujarat’s Dang district
  2. The fingernail-sized fern belongs to a group known as the adder’s-tongue ferns, named after their resemblance to a snake’s tongue

Features of the plant

  1. The size of the new Malvi’s adder’s-tongue fern Ophioglossum malviae is just one centimeter
  2. A look at the plant’s minuscule seeds (called spores) under a powerful electron microscope revealed it had a unique thick outer layer which similar species lacked
  3. Initial observations suggest that the ferns are seasonal and grow with the first monsoon rains
New Species of Plants and Animals Discovered

New species of large gecko discovered


Note4students

Mains Paper 3: Environment | Conservation, environmental pollution and degradation, environmental impact assessment

From UPSC perspective, the following things are important:

Prelims level: Name of the new species

Mains level: The article shows an example of Biodiversity in India.


News

New Lizard in Eastern Ghats

  1. A team of scientists’ has found Geckos(a new species) from the Eastern Ghats
  2. The Kanger valley rock gecko Hemidactylus kangerensis is the newest addition to India’s lizard species
  3. According to a paper published in the taxonomic journal Comptes Rendus Biologies, researchers of the National Centre for Biological Sciences has discovered the gecko from Chhattisgarh’s Kanger Ghati National Park
  4. According to the researchers, the discovery highlights the need for dedicated surveys across the Eastern Ghats, where biodiversity has not been quantified too well
New Species of Plants and Animals Discovered

New snake species discovered in Gujarat


Wallaceophis_2765052f


  1. News: Discovered a new snake genus and species in Gujarat
  2. Context: Snake genus has been named Wallaceophis in honour of the legendary 19th century British naturalist Alfred Russel Wallace, considered the father of biogeography
  3. Relevance: Snake species has been named Gujaratenisis to commemorate the western Indian state where it was discovered
  4. Where? Wallaceophis Gujaratenisis is presently found in just seven localities of Gujarat and virtually nothing is known about its biology
  5. The find is one of the rarest of moments in the recent reptile history of India
New Species of Plants and Animals Discovered

Four extinct plant species rediscovered


Rediscoveredplants


  1. News: 4 species of Impatiens (Kasi Thumba) plants believed to have gone extinct were rediscovered from Western Ghats
  2. Where? Rediscovery made during explorations at Dhoni Hills of Palakkad and Nelliampathy, Kerala
  3. Rediscovered plants: Impatiens concinna, Impatiens sasidharanii, Impatiens neo-modesta , and Impatiens sasidharanii var hirsuta ,
  4. Significance: great medicinal values
  5. Found in: tropical Asian and African regions
  6. According to the researchers: Plants usually found 2,000 ft above sea level, are short-lived and will be seen only one quarter of a year
  7. Climate Change effect: It is possible that any slight change in weather could sound the death knell for these plants. They are so sensitive to climate

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