Fri. Nov 26th, 2021
 
A 'mermaid' species of algae discovered on Andaman and Nicobar islands

A ‘mermaid’ species of algae discovered on Andaman and Nicobar islands

The Andaman Islands’ archipelago has yielded a new species of plant. Indian biologists discovered the marine green algae during a visit to the island in 2019. Biologists found marine green algae during a trip to the island in 2019. Identification is laborious, and it took the scientists nearly two years to confirm that the species had been discovered for the first time. Scientists say this is the first discovery of a species of algae in the islands in nearly four decades.

 

Scientists from the Central University of Punjab have named the species Acetabularia jalakanyakae. Jalakanyaka in Sanskrit literally means mermaid and a goddess of oceans. The scientists say they were influenced by the fictional character Little Mermaid in the eponymous fairy tale by Danish writer Hans Christian Anderson.

A ‘mermaid’ species of algae discovered on Andaman and Nicobar islands

A 'mermaid' species of algae discovered on Andaman and Nicobar islands
A ‘mermaid’ species of algae discovered on Andaman and Nicobar islands

 

“The newly discovered species is so stunning. It has caps with intricate designs as if it were umbrellas of a mermaid,” said Dr Felix Bast, who led the study. The main feature of the newly discovered species is that the plant is made up of one gigantic cell with a nucleus.

 

The scientists spent more than 18 months sequencing the plant DNA and comparing its form with other plants in the lab. A paper describing this discovery has been accepted in the journal Indian Journal of Geo-Marine Sciences. Andaman and Nicobar Islands has some of the last remaining healthy coral reefs in the world. These reefs support a host of other organisms, including a rich diversity of algae. Andaman and Nicobar Islands contain some of the world’s last healthy coral reefs, as well as a rich diversity of other organisms and algae.

 

However, there is tremendous stress from looming climate change in the form of rising seawater temperature and making oceans more acidic, scientists say. According to Dr Bast, Rising seawater temperature decreases oxygen concentration in water, dangerously affecting all organisms that depend on oxygen to live, including this species.

 

Subhangee Guha

Break the Newz.

 

 

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