A new insect-eating mammal species almost the size of a house mouse has been discovered in India after over four decades. A Zoological Survey of India (ZSI) team discovered the grey-coloured shrew that feeds on insects on the remote uninhabited dormant volcanic island of Narcondam in the Andaman and Nicobar Islands.
“Till date, 422 species of mammals have been reported from India. We have added one more... with the new discovery. It is after four decades that we have discovered an insect-eating mammal. In between, a few other mammal species like macaques and bats have been discovered,” said Kailash Chandra, former director of ZSI, who retired last week.
The last insect-eating mammal species were discovered on South Andaman Island in 1978. It was named Jenkin’s Andaman shrew. The new animal has been named Crocidura Norcondamica after the Narcondam Island where it was found. Earlier, 11 species of shrew have been reported from India.
The latest finding has been published in Scientific Reports, an online multidisciplinary open-access journal from the publishers of Nature.