Georissa mawsmaiensis

  • IASbaba
  • October 25, 2021
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Georissa mawsmaiensis

Part of: Prelims and GS-III – Environment  

Context Recently, researchers have discovered a micro snail species named Georissa mawsmaiensis in Mawsmai Cave in Meghalaya

About the new snail species

  • These snails are so small in size that an adult measures less than 2 millimetres in length.
  • It has been discovered after 170 years.
  • It was in 1851 that Georissa saritta, a member of the same genus as the latest find, was collected and described from the Musmai (Mawsmai today) valley near Cherrapunjee.
  • The members of the Georissa genus are widely distributed across and reported from Africa, Asia, and the Pacific. 
  • However, they are confined to microhabitats consisting of limestone caves or karst landscapes formed by the dissolution of limestone.
  • Georissa is found in soil or subterranean habitats in lowland tropical forest as well as high altitude evergreen forests or on rock surfaces rich in calcium.
  • The new species is different in its shell morphology, starting from shell size variation to the presence of four very prominent spiral striations on body whorls of the shell. 
  • Until now, five snail species have been found from the caves of Meghalaya. 

Mawsmai cave

  • It is situated in the small village of Mawsmai, around four km from Cherrapunjee (Sohra) in the East Khasi Hills, Meghalaya. 
  • The term ‘Mawsmai’ means ‘Oath Stone’ in the Khasi language. 
  • The Khasi people use the local term ‘Krem’ for the cave.
  • Mawsmai cave indirectly influenced by the streams of the Kynshi river originating from the East Khasi Hills.

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