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Scientists Discover New Species of Freshwater Mollusk in Myanmar: A Vital Indicator of Water Cleanliness

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Scientists Discover New Species of Freshwater Mollusk in Myanmar

Scientists from the Academician Laferov Center of the Russian Academy of Sciences have made an exciting discovery in Myanmar – a new species of freshwater mollusk. This finding has significant implications for assessing the cleanliness of the country’s water bodies.

Research Expedition Reveals a Limited Distribution

Under the invitation of the Ministry of Agriculture and Irrigation of Myanmar, the center conducted an expedition to inventory the country’s biological resources. During this expedition, scientists identified a new species of freshwater mollusk. Interestingly, this species is only found in two rivers in the north of the Mandalay region – the Ayeyarwaddy River and the Chindwin River.

An Intriguing Organism with Genetic Differences

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The discovered mollusk, known as “Indopseudodon indawgyiensis,” is relatively large, with a shell that can grow up to 8 cm in length. What makes it even more fascinating is that the mollusks in the Ayeyarwaddy and Chindwin rivers exhibit such genetic differences that they can be considered two subspecies. These two groups have been isolated for approximately six million years, since the end of the Miocene era.

Fragile Habitats and Endangered Species

The newly discovered mollusks inhabit remote and challenging environments, including tropical forests with small streams and clean freshwater. Unfortunately, these habitats are under threat due to human disturbance, such as local industry and excessive deforestation. If these activities persist, the water quality in these areas will naturally deteriorate.

Conservation Efforts and the Role of Shellfish

Given the endangered status of this mollusk species, scientists have recommended including Myanmar in the Red Book, a list of endangered species initiated by the Russian Academy of Sciences. Additionally, they propose using shellfish as bioindicators to monitor water quality in aquariums.

Source: TASS

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