Sand-eating Micrixalus herrei tadpoles species found in Western Ghats

Researchers have discovered Sand-eating tadpole species named Micrixalus herrei in Western Ghats. The tadpole belongs to the so-called Indian Dancing Frog family, Micrixalidae.

They were discovered from the deep recesses of streambeds in the Western Ghats

Key facts

  • They get their name Micrixalidae, from their habit of waving their legs as a sign of territorial and sexual display while sitting on boulders in streams.
  • It lives in total darkness i.e. they are of fossorial [underground] nature and comes out after fully developing into a young frog.
  • Their fossorial nature is considered as a rare occurrence in the amphibian world.
  • These tadpole species have purple colour and possess muscular eel-like bodies. They have skin-covered eyes, which helps them to burrow through gravel beds.
  • They lack teeth but have powerful suckering mouths and have serrated jaw sheaths in order to prevent large sand grains from entering the mouth while feeding and moving through sand.
  • These tadpoles have ribs and whitish globular sacs also known as lime sacs for storing calcium carbonate.

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Categories: Science and Technology Current Affairs - 2017

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