Monday, 25 June 2012

Zoological Survey of India: Animal discoveries 2012 - 193 new animals found in India

By Syed Akbar
Hyderabad:  India continues to unravel the secrets of its
biodiversity with 193 new animal species discovered in the last one
year. These animals are completely new to the world of science. The
discovery, ahead of the biodiversity summit in Hyderabad during
October, puts India in a unique position and gives it an added
advantage on the biodiversity front.

During the period, 66 animal species, hitherto unknown in this part of
the world, were also discovered. These animals, though known to
science, are found in different parts of the world. It is for the
first time that these 66 animal species were found to exist on the
Indian terrain. Interestingly, none of these newly discovered animals
is from Andhra Pradesh, though other southern States contributed a
considerable number. However, zoologists from Andhra Pradesh are
involved in some of the discoveries.

According to the latest report on animal discoveries by the Zoological
Survey of India, zoologists from different parts of the country
discovered the new species that included worms, insects, starfish,
reptiles, fish, frogs and other amphibians, corals, molluscs, spiders
and leeches. The largest find was from the Insecta, the animal class
to which insects belong. In all 135 new species of insects were
discovered from forests, hilly tracts ad water bodies.

There were 23 new discoveries from Amphibia, the class to which frogs
and salamanders belong. An interesting discovery was in the Indian
Ocean where zoologists noticed 34 species of corals thriving near the
Andamans.

The ZSI report feels that the discovery ahead of the biodiversity
summit would boost India’s image. India has just two per cent of the
world’s total land surface, but it has over 7.50 per cent of the
species of animals that the world holds. This percentage accounts for
92,034 species so far known, of which insects alone include 61,375
species.

It estimates that about two times this number of species remains to be
discovered on the Indian terrain.

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