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Large Creatures in Hiding

>> Sunday, April 11, 2010

I am sure cryptozoologists everywhere are having a field day with this as evidence of the ability of larger animals like the elusive bigfoot to remain in hiding. It has been confirmed that a new species of lizard, namely Varanus bitatawa, was discovered living in the treetops on the Philippine island of Luzon. The lizard can reach lengths of up to two meters in length (approx 6 ft) and has eluded scientists all this time. The lizard, a type of monitor lizard and closely related to the monitor lizard, is a vegetarian.

The lizard was first brought to scientists attention in 2001 when hunters went by with a large monitor lizard that they were only permitted to photograph. This spurred a two month expedition last summer. The hunt was successful and DNA testing revealed that this is, in fact, an entirely new species. What makes the find even more unique is that Luzon is a highly populated island and has suffered severe deforestation. Local hunters have always seen the lizard as a delicacy, but due to the small number of surveys done in this part of the world, the lizard had been unclassified by science.

The team from the University of Kansas was lead by herpetologist Rafe Brown. You can read more at National Geographic and ScienceNews.


Glendon Mellow April 12, 2010 at 7:22 AM  

Pretty colouration.

Marizela M. Zambrano April 12, 2010 at 9:43 AM  

it really is and it is amazing that a creature of this size had been largely unobserved and unclassified til now.

The Queen April 19, 2010 at 2:08 PM  

Thank Goodness it's a vegetarian. Kind looks like an armadillo

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