Scientists and conservationists conducting an ecological survey of the Eastern Himalayas found over 200 new species of fish, frog, snake, bird and monkey.
To the layman, the Himalayas are a mysterious place – tall mountains; tough people; inhospitable terrain as far as the eye can see. But the truth is that mountain range covers a broad range of biomes, and provides a habitat for thousands of different species of animals. Because the area is so remote, many of these animals have never been documented – but recent efforts have been making some headway. Also, we found a dracula fish.
Perhaps the best known animal living in the Himalayas is the red panda – this ultra-adorable little critter looks like a cross between a squirrel and a bear. It’s become the de facto mascot of the region, though most people would be hard-pressed to name an animal that shares the red panda’s living space. So what does live there?
Walking fish, jewelled snakes, a sneezing monkey, among many others – including the afore-mentioned vampirically-inspired lake dweller.
Danionella Dracula is a vicious minnow living in Norther Myanmar. You can tell it apart from other minnows thanks to the obvious addition of fangs at the front of its jaw. We don’t know exactly what the fangs’ purpose is (but we can guess), but can say these aren’t just typical sharp teeth. The fangs are an extension of the fish’s entire skeleton. Creepy!
Another fish species in the region has learned to walk – probably to get away from Nosfishratu. Channa andrao, or Vibrant Blue Dwarf Snakehead Walking Fish, can breathe air and survive out of water for up to four days, during which time it wriggles, snake-like, to another body of water for spawning.
Not pictured in the gallery is a monkey that’s been known to the locals much longer than scientists. Researchers heard of the primate by way of hunters in far-north Myanmar. Apparently, the black and white Rhinopithecus strykeri is easy to find in the rain, since whenever water lands in its upturned nose, it sneezes. To combat this evolutionary inconvenience, the monkey will spend rainy days with its head tucked between its knees – not unlike myself.
You can check out the report for yourself here for more information on the diverse new species.
Image at top of article taken from WWF Report (Dracula Minnow)