NEW DELHI: Indian scientists discover ‘mermaid’ plant species

NEW DELHI: Indian scientists discover ‘mermaid’ plant species

: Indian scientists have discovered
a new plant species in India’s Andamans archipelago.

found a marine green algae during a trip to the island in 2019.

is laborious, and it took the scientists nearly two years to confirm that the
species had been discovered for the first time.

say this the first discovery of a species of algae in the islands in nearly
four decades.

from the Central University of Punjab have named the specie Acetabularia

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.

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.

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 the journal Indian Journal
of Geo-Marine Sciences.

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.

there is tremendous stress from looming climate change in the form of rising
seawater temperature and making oceans more acidic, scientists say.

seawater temperature decreases oxygen concentration in water, dangerously
affecting all organisms that depend on oxygen to live, including this species,
Dr Bast said.

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