land of the lost - plethodontid

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In May of 2005, I blogged about the discovery a new species of salamander Karsenia koreana. The discovery was important since most (98%) of the known species within the family Plethodontidae are found in North America. Karsenia koreana seemed out of place. A new study has investigated the genetic relationship of Karsenia koreana to 36 other salamanders in the family Plethodontidae. The study theorizes that Karsenia koreana is a descendant of North American plethodontid salamanders and may have moved across a Bering land bridge during a period of global warming. I doubt salamanders often make it into the NY Times but this news must be big since the NY Times has an article on it.
Picture courtesy of Discovery.com

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