539 new species on the block

Down to Earth - - THE FORTNIGHT -

AS MANY as 300 new species of fauna and 239 of flora have been dis­cov­ered in the coun­try in 2017, ac­cord­ing to the re­ports re­leased by the Zoo­log­i­cal Sur­vey of In­dia and the Botan­i­cal Sur­vey of In­dia. Among the an­i­mal dis­cov­er­ies are 241 in­ver­te­brates while the ver­te­brates in­clude 27 species of fish, 18 am­phib­ians and 12 rep­tiles. A new fos­sil rep­til­ian species, Shringasaurus in­di­cus; a frog species, Nasik­a­ba­tra­chus bhu­pathi, with snout-shaped nose like a pig; and a snake, Rhab­dops aquati­cus (shown in the pic­ture), found in the north­ern Western Ghats, are some of the im­por­tant dis­cov­er­ies. Sci­en­tists have also dis­cov­ered 20 species of bal­sams and three species each of wild banana and ja­mun. The num­ber of an­i­mal species in In­dia now stands at 101,167, con­tribut­ing 6.45 per cent to the world's fauna while that of plant species has in­creased to 49,003 or 11.4 per cent of the flora in the world.

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