Crocidura narcondamica, an insectivorous mammal, has been found in the volcanic island and uninhabited.

Scientists from the Zoological Survey of India (ZSI) have discovered a new species of insectivorous mammal, a White-toothed shrew, from Narcondam Island of the Andaman and Nicobar Island Group.

The species Crocidura narcondamica is a new addition to the list of mammals found in the country. Shrews are small, mouse-like mammals and live in the subfoliar layer of forests. Insects are the main diet of these animals.

“This is the first discovery of a shrew from this volcanic island (Narcondam Island) and it increases the number of white-toothed shrews (genus Crocidura) in India from 11 to 12, ”said Chandrakasan Sivaperuman, scientist and manager at the ZSI Regional Center, Andaman and Nicobar.

The new species is medium in size (head and body length) and has a distinct external morphology with dense dark gray fur with a thick, darker tail compared to other species in the genus, Dr Sivaperuman added. He also said that the species’ craniodental traits, such as brain breakage, were rounded and high with low lambdoid ridges making the species distinct from other closely related congeners.

the details of the discovery were published in the journal Scientific reports, a publication of the Nature group in an article entitled “ Discovery of new mammal species (Soricidae: Eulipotyphla) from the volcanic island of Narcondam, India ”

“With this discovery, the number of mammals found in the country increased from 429 to 430. This discovery is based on both osteological and molecular studies of the specimen’s DNA,” said Kailash Chandra, former director and the one of the authors of the publication. The Hindu.

Other authors of the publication who contributed to the discovery are Manokaran Kamalakannan, ZSI Osteology Section, Chinnadurai Venkatraman, ZSI Mammals and Osteology Section Scientist, Shantanu Kundu Center for DNA Taxonomy, the ZSI and Gokulakrishnan, Research Associated with ZSI.

The Ministry of Environment, Forests and Climate Change also took note of the important taxonomic discovery through a series of tweets. “The new species of white-toothed shrew is named after the type locality, Narcondam Island considered to be a volcanic island located in the Andaman and Nicobar Archipelago, India: Narcondam Shrew Crocidura norcondamicaThe ministry tweeted from its official grip.

The discovery of a new insectivorous mammal comes after 43 years. Previously, scientists at ZSI had discovered Crocidura jenkinsi on South Andaman Island in 1978.

The find comes from one of the most remote and uninhabited islands, Narcondam Island, in the Andaman and Nicobar archipelago. Narcondam Island is located approximately 130 km east of northern Andaman and approximately 446 km from the west coast of Myanmar. The isolated island covers an area of ​​6.8 km2 and the highest peak (volcanic cone) is 710 m above sea level; however, the base is about 1,500 m below the sea. This thickly vegetated island is fringed by cliffs on the south side and the three peak ridge forms part of a volcanic arc that continues north from Sumatra to the south. Myanmar.