Plants, we are told in school, are very different from animals. Plants, they tell us, do not move, do not breathe oxygen and get their nutrients from the soil. Animals on the other hand need to eat plants and other animals to survive. Most of us grow up with the idea that plants are quite stupid, and that animals are the dominant kids on the block.
Seychelles is home to a very unusual endemic family of frogs called Sooglossids. The family
|Seychelles sooglossid © Gideon Climo
Sooglossidae consists of 2 genera and 4 species of frogs found only on the granitic islands of the Seychelles. The Seychelles granitic islands are unique among oceanic islands in representing a fragment of continental Gondwanaland. The Seychelles microcontinent split from India isolating the ancestral Sooglossidae at least 75 million years ago. Today, the Seychelles archipelago is an important centre of endemism for many plants and animals, including amphibians. The four known Sooglossid species have only been recorded from the two highest (Mahé and Silhouette) of the 115 islands in the archipelago, where they live in the mountain mist forests. They are Sooglossus gardineri found on Mahé and Silhouette; Sooglossus pipilodryas found on Silhouette only; Sooglossus sechellensis found on Mahé and Silhouette; and Nesomantis thomasseti found on Mahé and Silhouette.
The Sheath-tailed bat Coleura seychellensis is one of only two mammals endemic to the Seychelles, this means that it cannot be found anywhere else in the world. Yet it is possibly the rarest bat in the world with only about 30-100 individuals left in Seychelles.
The Giant Tenebrionid Beetle (Polposipus herculeanus) is one of the world’s most remarkable and endangered beetles. It has a highly restricted distribution, is only found on Fregate Island in the Seychelles, and is listed as Critically Endangered in the IUCN Red List of Threatened Animals.