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New family of legless amphibians found in India

Sd Biju / EPA

Handout photo provided by professor SD Biju showing a newly discovered legless amphibian in north-eastern India that have ancient links with Africa.

AP reports: Over five years of digging through forest beds in the rain, the team has identified an entirely new family of amphibians — called chikilidae — endemic to the region but with ancient links to Africa.

Their discovery, published Wednesday in a journal of the Royal Society of London, gives yet more evidence that India is a hotbed of amphibian life with habitats worth protecting against the country's industry-heavy development agenda.

Sd Biju / EPA

The discovery of the tailless burrowing caecilians was made by a team of international scientists led by Professor SD Biju from Delhi University. 'Scientists performed DNA analysis of the specimens and confirmed that it is an entirely new family,' Biju said.