This week, scientists have reported the discovery of a new species of frog with unusually deep evolutionary roots in the Western Ghats of southern India.
In this article, S. Blair Hedges reflects on the implications of the discovery of the species – which merits the establishment of a new taxonomic family – for models of continental drift of India.
The frog's closest relatives are the so-called sooglossids, a small group of frogs found only in the Seychelles in the Indian Ocean. Although now separated by 3,000 kilometres of ocean, the Seychelles and India once formed part of a greater landmass that split up millions of years ago.
References: Nature 425, 669 (2003); Nature 425, 711 (2003)