Western Ghats home to rare sand-eating tadpoles

These tadpoles, which they claim have ribs, live in absolute darkness, maybe till the time they develop into young frogs.

Last Updated: Mar 31, 2016, 13:15 PM IST
Western Ghats home to rare sand-eating tadpoles
Image for representational purpose only

Zee Media Bureau

New Delhi: Scientists have been successful in adding weight to the rapidly-growing frog-finds in India with their latest cracker. The ability and hard work of researchers has made them discover an unprecedented sand-eating tadpole in the western ghats.

These tadpoles, which they claim have ribs, live in absolute darkness, maybe till the time they develop into young frogs.

As per a report published in The Hindu, the tadpole belongs to the so-called Indian Dancing Frog family, Micrixalidae. They get that name from their habit of waving their legs as a sign of territorial and sexual display while sitting on boulders in streams.

Reportedly, it has been confirmed that they are first of their kind. SD Biju from the University of Delhi said in a statement: “We provide the first confirmed report of the tadpoles of Indian Dancing frog family. These tadpoles probably remained unnoticed all these years because of their fossorial [underground] nature, which in itself is a rare occurrence in the amphibian world.”

These purple tadpoles have skin-covered eyes, possess muscular eel-like bodies and were discovered from the deep recesses of streambeds in the Western Ghats. This inturn helps them to burrow through gravel beds.

The report further confirmed that these tadpoles lack teeth, have serrated jaw sheaths and hang onto underwater rocks with their powerful suckering mouths, unlike most tadpoles that swim early on.