Tuesday, May 14, 2013

Limbless amphibian dating back 140m years found

A Chikila Fulleri, a limbless amphibian, believed to have appeared some 140 million years ago, recently found in Lawachhara Forest. 
Photo Courtesy: The Daily Star Correspondent, Maulvibazar.

Two Chikila Fulleri, a limbless amphibian believed to have appeared some 140 million years ago, was found by a team of Bangladeshi wildlife researchers in Lawachhara Forest in Moulvibazar on December 26. Wildlife biologist Dr Reza Khan and wildlife expert Tania Khan came upon the two worm-like animals, measuring 19 and 17 centimetres in length, while digging the forest floor. In September, Tania had found a skeleton.

One was released while the other was brought back to Dhaka for DNA confirmation, said the researchers.

The researchers said the animal, locally known as “snake with two faces/mouths” and present in Africa, Assam of India, and South America, had not evolved and its existence in Bangladesh proves that the subcontinent was connected to Africa.

The animal performs its life cycle 10 inches under the ground and cannot survive long above ground without moisture, they said. An Indian biologist named Alkock first wrote about the animal in 1904 and last February, some Indian researchers published an article based on their five-year research on it in a journal of The Royal Society.

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