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Crocidura Narcondamica: New Shrew Species Discovered in A&N Narcondam Island

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New-species-of-shrew-Crocidura-narcondamica-discovered-from-Narcondam-islandZoological Survey of India (ZSI) Scientists have discovered a white-toothed shrew, a new species of insectivorous mammal from Narcondam Island (volcanic island) of the Andaman and Nicobar group of islands and named the species as Crocidura narcondamica (Soricidae: Eulipotyphla).

Note – The new species Crocidura narcondamica is named after the locality, Narcondam Island and it was the first shrew species discovered in that Island.

Key points:

i.Increase in count: The discovery has increased the number of White-toothed shrew (genus Crocidura) species in India from 11 to 12 and also increased the mammals count  from 429 to 430.

ii.After 43 years: The current discovery of new insectivorous mammals was held after 43 years of ZSI’s discovery of Crocidura Jenkinsi on the South Andaman Island in 1978. This discovery is based on osteological and DNA molecular studies of the specimen.

About the species Shrews:

i.Habitat: The species Shrews are the small mammals which look like mice, they live in sub-leaf stratum in the forests and insects are the primary diet of these animals.

ii.Morphology: It has a darker grey dense fur with a darker, thick tail and distinct from other Shrews are small and mouse-like mammals and it has medium size (head and body lengths) and craniodental characters (braincase is rounded and elevated with weak lambdoidal ridges) in comparison to other close congeners.

Research Team:

i.The discovery was published under the article titled ‘Discovery of A New Mammal Species (Soricidae: Eulipotyphla) From Narcondam Volcanic Island, India’

ii.Authors: Manokaran Kamalakannan, Chandrakasan Sivaperuman, Shantanu Kundu, Govindarasu Gokulakrishnan, Chinnadurai Venkatraman, and Kailash Chandra.

About Narcondam island:
i.The remote and uninhabited Narcondam island is a part of Union Territory of the Andaman and Nicobar islands and it is located about 130 km east of North Andaman, and about 446 km of the west coast of Myanmar.
ii.The island covers an area of ~ 6.8 square km and the base lies approximately 1,500 m beneath the sea.
iii.Note – This island’s volcanic mountain (the peak) is at 710 m above sea level which is the 2nd tallest point in the Andaman and Nicobar Islands (1st is the Saddle Peak, North Andaman Island at 752 m)

Recent Related News:

A team of researchers from Bombay Natural History Society (BNHS), spotted a new avian species – Three-banded Rosefinchat a higher altitude coniferous Forests of Arunachal Pradesh. This belongs to the family – Fringillidae, seed-eating passerine birds with a conical bill.

About Zoological Survey of India(ZSI):

Establishment – 1916
Headquarters– New Alipore, Kolkata, West Bengal
Director – Kailash Chandra