Micro snail species discovered in Meghalaya’s Mawsmai cave

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Researchers have recently discovered a micro snail species named Georissa mawsmaiensis from Mawsmai, a limestone cave in Meghalaya.

This is significant as the last discovery of the same genus was made in 1851. The species was named as Georissa saritta. It was collected and described from the Musmai (Mawsmai today) valley near Cherrapunjee by WH Benson.

About Georissa
Georissa
Source: Indian Express

Georissa is a genus of minute land snails. They 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.

They are also found in soil or subterranean habitats in lowland tropical forests as well as high altitude evergreen forests or on rock surface rich in calcium.

About Mawsmai cave
Mawsmai cave
Source: Wikipedia

Mawsmai cave is situated in the small village of Mawsmai, around four kilometres from Cherrapunjee (Sohra) in the East Khasi Hills district of Meghalaya

The term ‘Mawsmai’ means ‘Oath Stone’ in the Khasi language. The Khasi people use the local term ‘Krem’ for the cave.

The cave is located at an altitude of 1,195 metres above sea level and is indirectly influenced by the streams of the Kynshi river originating from the East Khasi Hills.

Source: This post is based on the articleMicro snail species discovered in Meghalaya’s Mawsmai cavepublished in Down To Earth on 20th October 2021.

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