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New salamander species in the mountain lakes of Manipur

 

Source: HT

 Context: Indian and Russian scientists have identified a new species of salamander called Tylototriton zaimeng in Manipur’s mountain lakes.

  • Previously mistaken for similar species, the new discovery was made by merging molecular and morphological evidence.

This salamander’s characteristics were revealed to be distinct from its close relatives, featuring a wide head, well-developed sagittal ridge, and unique colouration.

DNA tests confirmed its uniqueness and revealed its genetic relationship. The species is confined to Manipur’s Khongtheng mountain range and due to its limited distribution, scientists recommend its inclusion as a vulnerable species on the IUCN Red List, highlighting the need for conservation efforts.

 

What is a salamander?

 Salamanders are small amphibians that belong to the order Caudata. They have long bodies, short legs, and smooth, moist skin. Salamanders are known for their ability to regenerate lost limbs, which is a unique trait among vertebrates.