A team of scientists has just discovered a new species of mountain triton in the Montseny Nature Reserve. The species has been given the scientific name Calotriton arnoldi. It is the only endemic vertebrate species currently known to exist in Catalonia and a report of the discovery has been published in the December edition of the prestigious Zoological Journal of the Linnean Society. The authors are Salvador Carranza, ‘Ramon y Cajal’ researcher from the Department of Animal Biology at the University of Barcelona, and Fèlix Amat, who works with the Herpetology Department of the Science Museum in Granollers (Catalonia). The research which led to the discovery began over three years ago and forms part of the plan designed to monitor ecological parameters in the above-mentioned nature reserve.
The Montseny triton presents a set of genetic, morphological and osteological features that make it unique and distinguish it from its closest relative, the Pyrenean triton. C. arnoldi, named in recognition of the British herpetologist E. N. Arnold of the Natural History Museum in London, has smoother, brownish skin, which is translucent in the ventral area, and both sexes are smaller. It also shows differences in the morphology of the vertebra at the base of the tail. Mitochondrial DNA analyses reveal that the Montseny triton separated from the Pyrenean triton around 1.5 million years ago, during the first Pleistocene glaciations.
Despite their age, however, the first Montseny tritons were not observed until 1979, probably due to their scarcity, their discreet behaviour, and the fact that they were only to be found in a small number of cold water streams in the Montseny. To be precise, the new species C. arnoldi has been located in five streams of the Montseny massif (between 600 and 1200 m), and appears to prefer the beech forest (Fagus sylvatica). Preliminary studies indicate that it could be the amphibian with the smallest distribution area in Europe, and is one of the most endangered.
Rosa Martínez | alfa
Scientists on the road to discovering impact of urban road dust
18.01.2018 | University of Alberta
Gran Chaco: Biodiversity at High Risk
17.01.2018 | Humboldt-Universität zu Berlin
What enables electrons to be transferred swiftly, for example during photosynthesis? An interdisciplinary team of researchers has worked out the details of how...
For the first time, scientists have precisely measured the effective electrical charge of a single molecule in solution. This fundamental insight of an SNSF Professor could also pave the way for future medical diagnostics.
Electrical charge is one of the key properties that allows molecules to interact. Life itself depends on this phenomenon: many biological processes involve...
At the JEC World Composite Show in Paris in March 2018, the Fraunhofer Institute for Laser Technology ILT will be focusing on the latest trends and innovations in laser machining of composites. Among other things, researchers at the booth shared with the Aachen Center for Integrative Lightweight Production (AZL) will demonstrate how lasers can be used for joining, structuring, cutting and drilling composite materials.
No other industry has attracted as much public attention to composite materials as the automotive industry, which along with the aerospace industry is a driver...
Scientists at Tokyo Institute of Technology (Tokyo Tech) and Tohoku University have developed high-quality GFO epitaxial films and systematically investigated their ferroelectric and ferromagnetic properties. They also demonstrated the room-temperature magnetocapacitance effects of these GFO thin films.
Multiferroic materials show magnetically driven ferroelectricity. They are attracting increasing attention because of their fascinating properties such as...
The oceans are the largest global heat reservoir. As a result of man-made global warming, the temperature in the global climate system increases; around 90% of...
08.01.2018 | Event News
11.12.2017 | Event News
08.12.2017 | Event News
18.01.2018 | Life Sciences
18.01.2018 | Life Sciences
18.01.2018 | Earth Sciences