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New species of Pika found in Sikkim

A new species of a small mammal in the rabbit family has been discovered in the higher altitudes of the Himalayas in Sikkim, a study has claimed, saying it is an important part of the ecosystem.
•    Identified as 'Ochotona sikimaria' -- the new pika species was discovered by the study based on genetic data and skull measurements. 
•    Nishma Dahal, the first author of the paper, started by collecting pika pellets to get its DNA and identify the species. 
•    On comparing the DNA sequences from the pellets with that of all known pika species in the world, she saw that these were quite different.
•    To prove that this is indeed a new species, she had to compare the Sikkim pika to its close relatives. 
•    It took two years for collaborations with researchers from the Chinese Academy of Sciences, Zoological Museum of Moscow and Stanford University to get detailed data on these possible sister species.
 

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