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Two new lizard species discovered in Peru

Last Updated: Sunday, March 24, 2013 - 16:41

New York: Scientists have discovered two new species of lizards, with colourful splotches of green and brown on their bodies, in the Peruvian rain forest.

The lizards were found in a little-explored section of the Andes Mountains in the northeast of Peru.

Both species are a type of woodlizard, a group of lizards that was thought to contain only a handful of species.

Since 2008, however, three new species have been found in the group, in addition to the two newest finds, suggesting "that more species might be awaiting discovery in other unexplored areas close to the Andes," the authors wrote in the study published in the journal ZooKeys.

The lizards were found in Cordillera Azul National Park, the third-largest park in Peru. One of the species, Enyalioides azulae, is named for the reserve, researchers said.

The second species is found in the same river valley and is named after Sheikh Mohamed bin Zayed Al Nahyan, the Crown Prince of Abu Dhabi and deputy supreme commander of the United Arab Emirates military, who helped fund the survey.

"Thanks to these discoveries, Peru becomes the country holding the greatest diversity of woodlizards," said study author and Peruvian researcher Pablo Venegas.

"Cordillera Azul National Park is a genuine treasure for Peru and it must be treated as a precious future source of biodiversity exploration and preservation," Venegas said.


First Published: Sunday, March 24, 2013 - 16:41
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