Nasikabatrachus Bhupathi: New Frog Species with Pig Face Discovered in Western Ghats (Download PDF)

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Indian scientists discovered Nasikabatrachus bhupathi, a new species of frog in Western Ghats with snout-shaped nose, just like a pig. It has been named after the Indian herpetologist S. Bhupathy.

Map of New Frog Species With Pig Face In Western Ghats

Map of New Frog Species With Pig Face In Western Ghats

Map of New Frog Species With Pig Face In Western Ghats

About Nasikabatrachus Bhupathi

  • Nasikabatrachus bhupathi species is similar to Purple frog (Nasikabatrachus sahyadrensis) discovered in 2003 in Seychelles but differs from the Purple frog morphologically and acoustically- It is dark brown in colour and each of its calls consists of four distinct pulses while the Purple frog pauses once between its three-pulse-call.
  • Nasikabatrachus Bhupathi is soiled-dwelling species of purple frog
  • Inhabits eastern slopes of the Western Ghats near Srivilliputhur Grizzled Giant Squirrel Wildlife Sanctuary in Tamil Nadu.

Continental Drift theory and Discovery of Nasikabatrachus Bhupathi

Discovery provides additional evidence for continental drift theory- Purple frog inhabits Seychelles but Nasikabatrachus bhupathi inhabits India suggesting that Indian subcontinent was part of ancient landmass of Gondwana before splitting from Seychelles 65 million years ago.

Two New Earthworm Species in Western Ghats

Scientists discovered two new species of earthworm belonging to the primitive family Moniligastridae in Western Ghats ranges of Kerala- Drawida polydiverticulata and Drawida thomasi characters.

Drawida Polydiverticulata

This species has the following:

  • Multiple lobes called diverticulums
  • Organ located in the front of its body unique amongst the members of the genus

It was found widespread in the protected shola grasslands of the Munnar region, including Eravikulam National Park, Pampadun Shola National Park, and Chinnar Wildlife Sanctuary.

Drawida Thomasi

  • Discovered at the Kozhippara Waterfalls near Kakkadampoyil, at the border between Malappuram and Kozhikode.
  • Species named as a tribute to Professor A. P. Thomas who initiated the taxonomical studies on earthworms in Kerala.

Earthworms in India

There are about 200 species of earthworm known in genus Drawida of which 73 earthworm species live in Indian subcontinent with greatest concentration of 43 species found in Western Ghats.

Varshadhari: Cloud Seeding in Karnataka (Environment)

Karnataka Government launched clouding seeding Project Varshadhari in Bengaluru, which involves an aircraft spraying chemicals to induce rainfall.

Image of How Cloud Seeding Works

Image of How Cloud Seeding Works

Image of How Cloud Seeding Works

About Project Varshadhari

  • An experimental project in Karnataka covering Bengaluru, Gadag and Yadgir districts.
  • BQ-100 Beechcraft aircraft will spray Silver Iodide, Sodium Chloride, and Potassium Chloride to condense the water particles
  • The chemicals promotes condensation of small water particles around the newly introduced particles forming droplets of 50 microns, which can form rain.
  • A committee, comprising meteorologists, experts in cloud physics and hydrologists, will monitor the process.

What is Cloud Seeding?

  • Rainfall occurs when supercooled droplets of water (liquid below usual freezing point of 0 degree C) become too heavy to remain suspend in the air and fall, often melting on their way down to form rain.
  • Even in dry areas, air contains some water, which can be forced to come together and form ice crystals by seeding the atmosphere with chemicals such as silver iodide or dry ice.
  • Promotes rainfall by inducing nucleation that is small droplets of water in the air condenses around the newly introduced particles and crystallizes to form ice.
  • ‘Seeds’ are delivered by plane or sprayed from the ground.
  • Sometimes particles are sprayed onto the clouds, which rise into the clouds, cause moisture to freeze. Again, particles force the water to condense and fall as rain or snow.

Advantages and Disadvantages

  • Method can bring significant amount of rainfall over a specified area
  • Especially useful in locations where rain is badly needed
  • It is impossible to carry out a controlled experiment and hence success is never guaranteed that is we cannot know whether it would still have rained even if the clouds had not been seeded.
  • Seeded clouds can travel to another location and not cause precipitation at the intended location.
  • Environmental consequences of spreading chemicals in atmosphere is not known.
  • Very expensive technique.
  • If not controlled may result in undesirable conditions like hail, storms, flooding etc.

- Published/Last Modified on: September 23, 2017

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