The Himalayas is home to a fish that survives for four days without staying in the water, a venomous viper that has a stunning diamond like pattern, and a monkey that sneezes whenever it rains. These are only a few of the species that were discovered not long ago in the region.
A total of 211 new species were found by researchers from 2009 to 2014, in a region that expands over areas from Myanmar to central Nepal. In includes parts of south-west Tibet, the kingdom of Bhutan, and north-west India.
The World Wildlife Fund (WWF) stated that in the past six years, about thirty-four new animal and plant species have been found each year in this specific region.
“I am excited that the region continues to surprise the world with the nature and pace of species discovery,” Ravi Singh, the chair of the World Wildlife Fund Living Himalayas Initiative and the CEO of World Wildlife Fund-India, stated.
According to the World Wildlife Fund report, in the northern parts of Myanmar, the researchers discovered a new species of fish, which they named Danionella Dracula. This fish is the size of small freshwater and saltwater fish (minnow), and has pointy fangs, hence its name.
Channa andrao is another species of fish that was found in the eastern Himalayas. It is a blue coloured fish that can survive on land for about four days, as a result of its ability to breathe air. Channa andrao is able to move on land, or “walk”, by squirming on its belly.
Another impressive discovery is the sneezing monkey, which the researches named Snubby. An area in northern Myanmar, coated with thick forests, is home to this species of monkey. Whenever it rains, the monkey’s nose (which is upturned) collects rainwater and causes Snubby to sneeze.
In 2009, the researchers found the bejewelled lance-headed pit viper in the eastern Himalayas. The snake got its name ‘bejewelled’ from the intricate diamond-like pattern on its skin.
In the Himalayas there are about 300 mammal species, 1,000 bird species, hundreds of reptile, fish, and amphibian species, and nearly 10,000 plant species. The World Wildlife Fund reported that recently, more than 130 new plant species were found in the Himalayas.
The World Wildlife Fund – as well as other organisations of this kind – now has to protect the region in which the new species were found, and which is most likely home to other yet undiscovered species.
Image Source: mirror