Newly identified salamander species may be the world's largest amphibian

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Researchers in London have identified a new species of salamander that may be the largest amphibian alive today.

Scientists used DNA taken from museum specimens collected in the early 20th century to identify two new salamander species from three river systems and mountain ranges in China.

The Chinese giant salamanders were previously considered to be part of a single species known as Andrias davidianus.

Scientists compared tissue samples from wild salamanders with historical specimens in the Natural History Museum London and discovered that the salamanders contained three distinct genetic lineages, according to a new study from the journal Ecology and Evolution.

Lead author of the study Samuel Turveyl from the Institute of Zoology explained in a news release that the salamanders may have evolved between 3.1 and 2.4 million years ago due to mountain formation in China and the rise of the Tibetan Plateau.

One of the newly identified salamander species, Andria sligoi, had its characteristics defined by a preserved salamander specimen in the British history museum.

The other newly discovered species has yet to be named or described and is only known from its tissue samples.

The authors of the study suggest that the Andrias sligoi is the world's largest amphibian species as it can grow to be around two meters in length.

Andrias davidianus, the previously known salamander species, is able to grow to be around one meter in length.

RUNDOWN SHOWS:
1. Two new Chinese giant salamander species have been identified
2. How the scientists identified them
3. The new Andrias Sligo salamander species
4. Comparing the length of the Andrias Sligo to the Andrias davidianus

VOICEOVER (in English):

"Scientists used DNA taken from museum specimens collected in the early 20th century to identify two new salamander species from three river systems and mountain ranges in China."

"The Chinese giant salamanders were previously considered to be part of a single species known as Andrias davidianus."

"According to a new study from the journal Ecology and Evolution, scientists compared tissue samples from wild salamanders with historical specimens in the Natural History Museum London and discovered that the salamanders contained three distinct genetic lineages."

"One of the newly identified salamander species, Andria sligoi, had its characteristics defined by a preserved salamander specimen in the British history museum."

"The other newly discovered species has yet to be named or described and is only known from its tissue samples."

"The authors of the study suggest that the Andrias sligoi is the world's largest amphibian species as it can grow to be around two meters in length."

"Andrias davidianus, the previously known salamander species, is able to grow to be around one meter in length."

SOURCES: Ecology and Evolution, Zoological Society of London, BBC News, CNN, National Geographic
https://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/full/10.1002/ece3.5257
https://www.zsl.org/conservation/regions/asia/chinese-giant-salamander-conservation
https://www.bbc.com/news/science-environment-49692583
https://edition.cnn.com/2019/09/16/world/giant-salamander-worlds-largest-amphibian-scn/index.html
https://www.nationalgeographic.com/animals/2019/09/giant-salamander-new-species-worlds-largest-amphibian/