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Saturday, May 1, 2021

newly discovered fresh water snail named after Serbian ace Novak Djokovic

We hear this idiom ‘at a snail's pace’ often meaning or referring to something moving or happening very slowly !  

A snail is, in loose terms, a shelled gastropod. The name is most often applied to land snails, terrestrial pulmonate gastropod molluscs. However, the common name snail is also used for most of the members of the molluscan class Gastropoda that have a coiled shell that is large enough for the animal to retract completely into.  Gastropods that naturally lack a shell, or have only an internal shell, are mostly called slugs.  Since the advent of email,   the postal system has come to be referred to in Internet slang by the retronym "snail mail".

Novak is in the first place on the all-time list of players who have spent most weeks at No.1. Having spent his 316th week at the summit of men’s professional tennis, he is in front of the aces like Federer, Sampras, Lendl, Connors, Nadal, McEnroe, Borg, Agassi… Novak Djokovic is the only player in history to have at least 9 semifinals in all four Grand Slams: US Open – 11, Roland Garros – 10, Wimbledon – 9, Australian Open – 9. With a 7-6 (5), 1-6, 7-6 (4), 4-6, 13-12 (3) victory over Roger Federer in the 2019 Championships final, Novak joined Bjorn Borg and Laurence Doherty as a five-time Wimbledon titlist.  Novak Djokovic from Serbia, is currently ranked as world No. 1 by the Association of Tennis Professionals (ATP).  Djokovic has won 18 Grand Slam men's singles titles and 82 ATP singles titles overall, including a record nine Australian Open titles and a record 36 Masters 1000 events.  

Dan Evans pulled off the best victory of his career so far under the unlikeliest of circumstances as he produced a nerveless performance to upset Novak Djokovic 6-4, 7-5 on clay and advance to the quarter-finals of the Monte Carlo Masters. Evans had arrived in Monaco widely considered to be one of the weakest clay court players in the top 100, with a 0-7 overall record against top-five opponents. The Briton had lost 10 consecutive main-draw matches on clay dating back to 2017, and he has been so candid about his distaste for clay that when Tim Henman later asked him whether it was his best surface he shot back with a sarcastic question of his own: “Is golf your best sport?”  Yet this week has been a different world from the beginning. In the opening round Evans beat Dusan Lajovic, runner-up of the Monte Carlo tournament in 2019, before defeating the Miami Open champion, Hubert Hurkacz, in straight sets to line up his match against Djokovic.   Evans was often the more durable player, working Djokovic with his wicked slice, abrupt injections of pace with his forehand and countless excellent drop shots that either remained low and moved Djokovic off the baseline or died in the dirt for an outright winner.

One loss does not make a summer !  .. ..  Djokovic is in news as always – a  newly discovered species of freshwater snail has been named after Serbian tennis ace Novak Djokovic 'to acknowledge his inspiring enthusiasm and energy'. 

Researchers from Montenegro found Travunijana djokovici in a karstic spring in the Dinaric Alps near the capital city of Podgorica during a field expedition back in 2019. Karst is the name given to the landscape created by the dissolution of soluble rocks like limestone, complete with sinkholes, caves and underground steams. Snails are notoriously slow and the naming is intended to reflect not T. djokovici's pep but that of the team — who traversed challenging landscapes to discover it.

MailOnline reports that Researchers from Montenegro found 'Travunijana djokovici' (the shell of which is pictured) in a spring near the capital city of near Podgorica during a field expedition back in 2019.  'Some of the world's rarest animals inhabit the unique underground habitats of the Dinaric karst,' the duo explained. 'To reach inaccessible cave and spring habitats and for the restless work during processing of the collected material, you need Novak's energy and enthusiasm.'

Adapted to living in underground streams, T. djokovici has a 1.8 millimetre-tall milky-white spiral shell shaped into an elongated cone. It belongs to the family of small freshwater and brackish water snails known as the Hydrobiidae, or 'mud snails'. T. djokovici is the first species of the genus Travunijana to date to have been found in the Skadar Lake basin — all other have been found in the Trebisnjica river basin in Herzegovina.  As T. djokovici is found in such a small area, the International Union for Conservation of Nature has assessed the newly-discovered species as being vulnerable and it will be added to their Red List of Threatened Species. The full findings of the study were published in the journal Subterranean Biology.

Interesting !

With regards – S. Sampathkumar


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