How Do You Hide A 6-Foot, Colored Lizard From Modern Science For 150 Years?

Posted by on April 12th, 2010


Western scientists have officially catalogued animals on the islands of the Phillipines for over a century and a half and yet, a 6-foot-long, gold flecked, colored lizard just happened to escape their attention. Until last summer.

Rumors of the lizard’s existence floated among biologists for the past 10 years, Brown explained.

“People had taken photographs of hunters from the resident tribespeople as they were carrying the reptiles back to their homes to feed their families in 2001,” Brown said.

In 2005, two different groups procured juvenile specimens. “However, both of those efforts didn’t collect genetic samples, so we couldn’t yet prove that it was genetically distinct and didn’t just look different,” Brown said. “Also, we wanted a full-sized adult to see how big it got in life.”

A team went on a two month expedition to track the animal down in 2009 and only found one adult male after all of their food and money had been exhausted. One possible theory while the particular lizard is scarce? Local tribesman prefer their meat to other monitor lizards.


[Live Science]

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