DISCOVERY OF 200 NEW SPECIES – LAW OF BIOGENERATION AND PROPAGATION
As student of Biology, I am delighted to hear about discovery of 200 new species in Eastern Himalayas where I had participated in military operations conducted by Special Frontier Force.
Carolus Linnaeus(1707 – 1778), Swedish botanist, a doctor of Medicine, and explorer was the first to frame principles for defining ‘genera’ and ‘species’ of organisms and to create a uniform system for naming them. He developed a branch of Science called Taxonomy, the systematic categorization of organisms. His binomial system of nomenclature is still followed to describe modern discovery of plant and animal species.
WHAT IS SPECIES?
Species is a term of Classification in which living things are either grouped or separated by using a set of characteristics. Species is fundamental unit of Classification to describe populations of morphologically similar, interbreeding or potentially interbreeding individuals that share the same collection of inherited characteristics whose combination is unique to that Species. A “GENUS” is a group in which the members differ specifically while sharing certain common traits. Species differ from one another while they belong to a generic group.
A Species always breeds true and its members always generate organisms which can be classified as belonging to the same species., however much they vary among themselves as individuals within the group. The sub-groups, the ‘races’, or ‘varieties’ of Species are able to breed with one another but diverse species cannot interbreed. Organisms different in species cannot reproduce productively and if crossbred, they produce a sterile hybrid. Offspring will always be of the same Species as the parent organism.
Species is distinguished by its ability to maintain its stability from generation to generation. Species is self-perpetuating and hence they maintain stability of all other groupings like ‘Genera’, ‘Families’, ‘Orders’, ‘Classes’, and ‘Phyla’ which remain as fixed from generation to generation. As identity of Species remains fixed from generation to generation, identity of ‘Genera’, ‘Families’, ‘Orders’, ‘Classes’, and ‘Phyla’ remains fixed. The variations generated in the breeding process are never enough to change the basic criteria applied in identification of Species. For this reason, Species of living things appear to be ‘immutable’ in type throughout the ages.
BIOGENETIC LAW OF GENERATION AND PROPAGATION
Generation means to produce offspring. Propagation describes ability to transmit hereditary characteristics by reproduction. Biogenetic Law or the Law of Natural Generation states the principle that living organisms originate only from other living organisms closely similar to themselves; generation of organisms in that way.
The Origin of a new form of Life may lie outside operation of ‘natural mechanisms'(such as reproduction), natural processes, natural causes, and natural events. The arrival of a new form of Life cannot be entirely accounted by examining natural conditions that prevail on Earth. If Origin of Life cannot be explained as a natural phenomenon, I would ask my readers to consider the possibility of ‘Supernatural’ mechanism, cause, processes, or events.
Ann Arbor, MI 48104-4162, USA
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200 new animal and plant species discovered in the Himalayas
A fish that can walk (kind of), another with Dracula fangs and a monkey that can’t stop sneezing are all part of a range of newly discovered plant and animal life found in the Himalayas.
The discoveries are detailed in a report from the WWF, detailing more than 200 animal and plant species that are new to science. Hidden Himalayas. Asia’s Wonderland documents the new species that have been encountered and officially described over the past six years in the eastern Himalayas.
Described by WWF as “one of the biologically richest areas on earth”, the region encompasses Nepal, Bhutan and the northern Indian states of Arunachal Pradesh, Assam and Sikkim. It also includes areas of north Bengal, Myanmar and southern Tibet.
Over the past six years, 133 plants, 39 invertebrates, 26 fish, 10 amphibians, one reptile, one bird and one mammal have been discovered.
Here are some of the most interesting:
Vibrant blue walking snakehead fish
Henning Strack Hansen
The blue Dwarf ‘Walking’ Snakehead fish, officially named Channa andrao, was discovered in a swamp in West Bengal, India.
There are a number of snakehead fish species in the area, but this one is different because it has a distinguishing colour pattern, dorsal and anal fin rays and lateral-line scales.
And like some other snakeheads, it can also survive on land. That’s right, this fish is able to breathe atmospheric air and live on the land for up to four days. What does it do when it’s there? Well, it moves like a clumsy-looking snake and can travel a whole quarter of a mile like that. Which is why some have dubbed it the “walking fish” or, rather harshly, “fishzilla”.
Shy Spotted Bird
There are more than 1,000 species of birds in the Himalayas. But that doesn’t mean there isn’t room for one more teeny tiny one.
Meet the spotted wren-babbler, more formerly known as Elachura formosa, a small bird that hangs out in the thick undergrowth found in dense Himalayan forests.
It’s got no close lineage, which means a whole new family of bird has been created, the Elachuridae, just for this one spotted species.
Described by WWF as “extremely secretive and difficult to observe”, the babbler is only 10cm long and the males of the species have a high-pitched song, which is unusual for Asian birds.
Bompu Litter Frog
There have been ten new amphibian discoveries documented over the past six years in the Himalayas and the Leptobrachium Bompu is one of the most interesting.
The Indian L.Bompu is different to other species of frog because of its impressive peepers. Its eyes are a strikingly grey-blue hue and its pupils are vertically aligned. It also has wrinkled skin and a number of distinct markings on its body.
According to WWF, the frogs are small (47mm) but also calm and docile. If picked up, they’re likely to make a loud “kek- kek-kek-kek” call.
L.Bompu isn’t the only interesting new frog on the report, meet Megophrys ancrae, a so-called “horned frog”.
The horned frog is usually hard to spot because it’s so well-camouflaged. Parts of its skin even mimic the look of veins on leaves, so these frogs can sit on the forest floor and be mistaken for dead, shrivelled leaves from the trees above.
Found mainly in two large protected forests in Arunachal Pradesh, the frog measures between 2cm and 12.5cm and has two distinct horns, which are actually its eyebrows.
“The challenge is to preserve our threatened ecosystems before these species, and others yet unknown are lost”
Sami Tornikoski, leader of the WWF Living Himalayas Initiative
Sneezing “Snubby” Monkey
The discovery of the “sneezing monkey”, a large mammal is seen as hugely significant.
Found in the remote region of the far north Myanmar, the monkey has been well-known to local people for years and has been nicknamed “snubby”. The monkey gets its name from its unusual sneezing habit — it sneezes when rain gets in its nose, which is turned upwards towards the sky. This is the reason many of the sneezing monkeys (or Rhinopithecus strykeri) sit with their head between their knees when the weather turns drizzly.
There have only been a few photos taken of the snub-nosed monkey, which has led experts to classify it as “critically endangered”.
Twenty-six different species of fish have been discovered over the past six years in freshwater from the Himalayan mountains to the subtropical lowlands.
Found in a stream in the far north Myanmar, the “Dracula minnow” (Danionella dracula) is strikingly unique. It’s different to similar genus of fish because it has actual fangs at the front of each jaw — the evolutionary cause of which is still unknown. It’s not too scary though, measuring only 16.7mm.
Bejewelled pit viper
Protobothrops himalayansus, pit viper
A new viper has been found with a distinctive red, orange and yellow pattern that the WWF likened to “a carefully crafted piece of jewellery”. Named the Himalayan lance-headed pit viper (Protobothrops himalayansus), this shiny snake is known to inhabit trees and has extremely toxic venom.
And it isn’t just its markings that set it apart from similar snakes — it also measures 1.5m long.
“The Eastern Himalayas is at a crossroads”
Sami Tornikoski, leader of the WWF Living Himalayas Initiative
A new orchid
There have been some interesting new botanical discoveries too, and one of the most beautiful is this new species of orchid.
Found in Nepal, Bulbophyllum nepalense has an unusual structure of oblong dorsal sepals, elliptic petals and an oblong decurved ligulate lip.
As well as providing details of new species, the WWF report also highlights some of the threats facing the region. Only 25 percent of the original habitats in the region are currently intact and many of the species are considered to be globally threatened.
“The challenge is to preserve our threatened ecosystems before these species, and others yet unknown are lost,” said Sami Tornikoski, leader of the WWF Living Himalayas Initiative said.
“The Eastern Himalayas is at a crossroads. Governments can decide whether to follow the current path towards fragile economies that do not fully account for environmental impacts, or take an alternative path towards greener, more sustainable economic development,” he added.
© Condé Nast UK 2015