• Scientists from the University of Delhi have discovered a new amphibian — a mysterious narrow-mouthed frog, that makes only a four-day appearance in seasonal roadside puddles every year in Kerala’s Wayanad district
  • The frog Mysticellus franki (named after evolutionary biologist Franky Bossuyt from Brussel’s Vrije Universiteit) is not just a new species but also belongs to a completely new genus, Mysticellus (after Latin mysticus, meaning mysterious; and ellus, meaning diminutive, for the frog is just around 3 cm long).
  • Physical features (such as its marble-patterned underside) and DNA studies revealed the frogs to be a completely new species.
  • Adults have two black spots that look like eyes on their backs, a defensive feature.
  • Genetic studies further revealed that the frog is around 40 million years old and its nearest relatives live more than 2,000 km away, in southeast Asia (including Indo-Burma, Malaysia and Vietnam).
  • This southeast Asian connection adds strength to the theories that India and southeast Asia were connected in the past by land bridges.