‘Walking’ fish among new species in Asia

A monkey which sneezes in the rain and a “walking” fish are among more than 200 species discovered in the Eastern Himalayas in recent years.

A report on wildlife in Nepal, Bhutan, the far north of Burma, southern Tibet and north-eastern India has revealed discoveries in the past five years including 133 plants, 26 species of fish, 10 new amphibians, one reptile, one bird and one mammal.

The discoveries include a bird named the spotted wren-babbler, a striking blue-eyed frog, and a lance-headed pit viper snake with an ornate yellow, red, and orange pattern, conservation organisation WWF said.

And scientists learned of the snub-nosed monkey, or ‘Snubby’ as they nicknamed the species, from locals in the remote forests of northern Burma, who said it was easy to find when it was raining because it often got rainwater in its upturned nose, causing it to sneeze.

To avoid the problem, snub-nosed monkeys spend rainy days sitting with their heads tucked between their knees, the report said.

Among the fish found is a vibrant blue dwarf ‘walking’ snakehead fish, found in West Bengal, India, which breathes air, can survive on land for up to four days, and can writhe and wriggle up to quarter of a mile over wet ground between bodies of water.


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