Wikinews interviews co-discoverers of Ziegler's crocodile newt
Monday, March 25, 2013
In February, Japanese herpetologists Kanto Nishikawa, Masafumi Matsui (of the Vietnam. The new species, called Tylototriton ziegleri, is characterised by a unique morphology, most noticeably the rough skin. The researchers noticed the new set of species features when examining a specimen in , Tokyo and confirmed the species after a field study and analysis.), and Tao Thien Nguyen (of the ) discovered Ziegler's crocodile in
On February 18, the researchers successfully published the paper at Current,published by the .
Masafumi Matsui asked Kanto Nishikawa to identify the species from the museum. After a discussion with Tao Thien Nguyen, younger brother of T. Q. Nguyen, co-author of an existing Tylototriton vietnamensis species, Kanto Nishikawa identified the species as a new one.
Last Friday, Wikinews interviewed the research team about the study.
((Wikinews)) What is most particular in the new species morphology?
- Kanto Nishikawa: Very rough skin.
((WN)) What kind of environments do the newts live in?
- KN: Secondary and primary forest, near wet land.
((WN)) What do the newts eat?
- KN: Probably small invertebrates, like earthworms, insect, and snails...
((WN)) What equipment was used during the research?
- KN: for measuring specimens, and for molecular analysis.
((WN)) What were the roles of the people involved in the research? What activity was most time-consuming?
- KN: Collecting in the wild, analysis of data, and getting research permission.
- Tao Thien Nguyen: I am also co-author of paper.
- TTN: I was conducted survey in Hagiang and Cao Bang provinces during two year 2010 and 2011. I collected total 10 samples of Tylototriton in the nature habitat for our research,
- TTN: I like Nikon camera very much and the photos taken by Nikon D300 body with Macro-len 60:2.8,
((WN)) Who did you have to get research permission from?
- KN: From local government or national museum where Mr. Tao belongs to. We need many permissions not only for conducting research, but also exporting (= borrowing) specimens. This is common for researchers.
((WN)) What was the purpose of the field study? Is an alive individual required for DNA analysis, for species description and depiction, or for something else?
- KN: Yes, for collecting alive one for DNA, and compiling information on habitat, ecology, breeding sites of the species.
- Bob Yirka. "New species of crocodile newt identified in Vietnam" — , March 21, 2013
- Kanto Nishikawa, Masafumi Matsui, and Tao Thien Nguyen. "A New Species of Tylototriton from Northern Vietnam (Amphibia: Urodela: Salamandridae)" — , February 2013
- Jeremy Hance. "The beautiful amphibian from Hell: scientists discover new crocodile newt in Vietnam (photos)" — , March 18, 2013