New Amphibian Discovered in India

New Amphibian Discovered in India

New Amphibian Discovered in India

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Feb. 22 2012 2:52 PM

New Amphibian Discovered in India

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(Mangrove trees are seen in the Sundarbans in Khulna, some 350 kms southwest of Dhaka, on March 31, 2009.)

Photo by MUNIR UZ ZAMAN/AFP/Getty Images

Dig, baby, dig, and you just might find yourself a new species.

A new kind of burrowing caecilian has been discovered in northeastern India. Researchers from the University of Delhi discovered the legless, squirmy amphibians after 5 years of research and over 230 digs. 

The species resembles earthworms and lives underground under dense forests. Researchers are concerned for the newly discovered amphibian however, as the dig site was very close to civilization. Some locals have also reportedly killed the strange creatures for fear they were venomous snakes.

New species, close to a settlement, this is perfect fodder for Bollywood writers or the creators of Tremors ... the Attack of the Killer Caecilians!

Clarification: this blog, like the video accompanying it, originally referred to "poisonous snakes." Though dangerous snakes are often referred to as poisonous, a more accurate description is venomous, because they deliver venom to prey with a bite.

Ben Johnson is the producer of Marketplace Tech from American Public Media.