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New amphibians family found in northeast India

New Delhi, Thu, 23 Feb 2012 ANI

New Delhi, Feb 23 (ANI): Indian scientists have uncovered a completely new family of limbless amphibians, commonly known as caecilians, in the forests in northeastern part of the country.


A team, led by Delhi University Professor S.D. Biju, has named the new family Chikilidae, which means Caecilian in Garo, the local tribal language-consisting of tailless burrowing caecilians that evolved separately from other caecilian species more than 140 million years ago.


Its closest relatives are found in Africa, which shows that it existed before the Indian subcontinent broke away from the African landmass, reported.


"We used DNA mechanism to understand how dispersal mechanism happened from India to Africa or maybe we can say out of India hypothesis," said Dr. Biju, who considers the discovery a landmark.


"So, we can say that one animal in northeastern part of India almost evolved 140 million years ago than the African animals," he added.


Caecilians are neither venomous nor are they snakes. They never bite and they open their mouth only for feeding. (ANI)


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