Wednesday, February 24, 2010

Komodo Dragon Attack

A Komodo Island park ranger somehow got involved when a Komodo dragon chased a monkey, and ended up getting bit himself. (News source.)

[Additional: A bit more info here.]

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Thursday, January 07, 2010

A Couple of New Species

A new chameleon from Tanzania, and a "strawberry" colored (not flavored) crab from Taiwan.

[Edit: Also, via Kevin Stewart, Arapaima may be more than one species.]

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Wednesday, November 25, 2009

New Chameleon Almost Dinner

A new chameleon, Kinyongia magomberae, was discovered after a researcher ran across a twig snake that regurgitated the lizard. (News source.)

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Wednesday, October 07, 2009

Bigger than the Komodo Dragon

A fossil monitor lizard larger than the Komodo dragon (but not as large as Australia's Megalania) was found on the island of Timor in Indonesia. (News source.)

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Thursday, July 23, 2009

New Horned Lizards

California's coast horned lizard, Phrynosoma coronatum, has been split into three species. (Eurekalert.)

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Monday, July 20, 2009

New Monitor Lizard

A new monitor lizard has been described from the Talaud Islands of Indonesia. The new species, Varanus lirungensis, is apparently related to the mangrove monitor, V. indicus. (News source. Image: André Koch, ZFMK)

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Tuesday, May 19, 2009

Venomous Critter News

Komodo dragons have been confirmed to have venom glands: "magnetic resonance imagery has for the first time uncovered venom glands containing a shock-inducing poison which increases blood flow and decreases blood pressure." (News source.)

And, a large fossil shrew had channeled teeth for injecting toxic saliva. (News source.)

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Monday, January 05, 2009

New Galapagos Iguana (More to Come?)

The media is jumping on the designation of the "rosada," a pink-tinted Galapagos land iguana, as a new species. See details at Discover News, and New Scientist.

Interesting, though, is a paper from this past November, noting that five populations of land iguanas in the Galapagos "represent distinct conservation units (one of them being the recently discovered rosada form) and could warrant species status." So, perhaps a couple more species to come?

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Wednesday, October 22, 2008

New Legless Lizard

The description for a new legless lizard from Brazil has been published. (News source.)

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Tuesday, September 16, 2008

New Iguana Species

The latest issue of Philosophical Transactions of the Royal Society B includes the description of a new species of iguana (Brachylophus bulabula) from Ovalau Island, Fiji. (News source.)

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Wednesday, August 27, 2008

Those Laotian Giant Lizards

A bit more on the story of the Australian hiker who may have encountered some big lizards in Laos: (News source.)

"Mr Adcock's ordeal began on July 31 as a simple, hour-long hike to a waterfall in the Hinboun district of Laos's Khammouane province.
"The experienced walker then decided to go on to a second waterfall, but ran into trouble when confronted by a group of large lizards, his mother says.
"'From what I can gather he saw a beautiful rock formation and it was all colours and really something special,' Ms Sturrock said.
"'It was in a bit of a ravine and he went to have a little look a bit closer and [he's] gone off the path a bit.
"'Then these horrible lizards, almost komodo dragon size, came out of nowhere...and started chasing him and he had nowhere to go but over the cliff so he went over the edge to escape them and of course lost his footing... so he tumbled down and down and down and he said he thought he landed in a creek.'"

Varanus salvator, very possibly.


Friday, August 22, 2008

Giant Lizards? Maybe Not.

From the news:

"Hayden Adcock, 40, an experienced traveller and bushwalker, was in Laos after a trip to Vietnam, and initially set out for a walk to a well-known waterfall in the Hinboun district on July 31.
"His father says he then decided to go to another nearby waterfall when a heavy downpour washed away the tracks, and Mr Adcock became lost.
"'He said to my nephew in hospital that he was looking between some trees and there was a cliff face, and big lizards came out of the rockface of the cliff and they chased him and he ran into the forest and cut himself.
"'He was then saying he'd fell into the river and the lizards chased him into the river and attacked him, but I think it was probably a hallucination.'"


Thursday, August 14, 2008

"Giant Lizard" Caught

Sightings of a "six or seven foot giant lizard" in Jasper County, Georgia, turned out to be a 4-foot water monitor finally captured in a barn. (News source.)

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Thursday, May 15, 2008

Lizard in a Chicken Egg

No, not a story from one of Fort's books, an Australian doctor was cracking eggs for his meal, and found a dead gecko inside of one. He relates how this may be happened here, with pictures here.


Thursday, May 01, 2008

Largest Gecko in India?

A new species is being described in the news as the largest gecko yet found in India, at 250 mm. (I'm a bit leery of this claim; the Tokay gecko, for example, is found in northern India, and can surpass that length in at least parts of its wide range.) The new species has been named Hemidactylus aaronbaueri, after lizard expert Dr. Aaron Bauer of Villanova. (Dr. Bauer, of course, should be a familiar name, as he has written on the cryptozoological giant gecko and other unusual cases.) The lizard was first photographed two years ago, and the photos forwarded to the Bombay Natural History Society for identification, where they realized it was a new species. Since then, about 20 more have been found on rocky cliffs in north west Ghats. (News source.)

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Tuesday, February 12, 2008

PNG Lizard Hunt Called Off

The search for a "Komodo dragon" reportedly roaming loose on the west coast of PNG has been called off, as it appeared to be a case of hysterical rumors with no substantial evidence that such a lizard was actually present. It may have been a hoax, or a misidentification. (News source.)

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Friday, February 08, 2008

Komodo Rumor in PNG

Lae city, in Papua New Guinea, has Komodo dragon rumors, as stories of a giant lizard are being passed around, along with the rumor of an expatriate offering a bounty on a Komodo dragon that was supposedly smuggled into the country as an egg, raised up, and which got loose to terrorize the countryside. (News source.) (Rumor story here.) PNG has several native varanids, so the stories are likely based on misidentifications.

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Wednesday, December 19, 2007

Giant La Palma Lizard Rediscovered

The thought-extinct giant lizard of La Palma, Gallotia auaritae, may still be around. A 300+ mm lizard was found by José Antonio Mateo, from the species recovery center on La Gomera. (These are in the Canary Islands.) A search is planned to hunt for more of the lizards. (News source.)

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