Wednesday, 7 April 2010

New Species of Dragon-Sized Lizard Discovered in the Philippines

Scientists have announced that they have identified a new species of dragon-sized lizard on the island of Luzon in the Philippines. This new lizard is a brightly coloured forest monitor that can grow to around 6ft in length but only weighs about 22lbs.  This lizard is unusual as it lives only on fruit and is one of only three fruit eating lizards in the world.  This lizard spends much of its time up in trees, so cannot carry the weight of the mighty Komodo dragons, who are also predator anf gain much of their bulk from eating meat.

This new lizard was first seen by scientists in photographs in 2001, but it was not until a month-long expedition in 2009 that one of the forest monitors was brought into camp and positively identified.  The lizard is a news species of the genus Varanus, and DNA testing shows that it nearest relative is Gray's monitor lizard that lives in the southern part of Luzon.

Read the whole news article for more on the discovery of a new dragon-like lizard

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