Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

New species of lizard discovered in Central African minefield

Date:
May 8, 2012
Source:
Taylor & Francis
Summary:
Scientists have announced the discovery of a new species of lizard from remote, war-torn mountains in Central Africa. The new species is described from the Marungu Plateau, a montane area west of Lake Tanganyika in south-eastern Democratic Republic of the Congo.

An international collaboration of scientists has announced the discovery of a new species of lizard from remote, war-torn mountains in Central Africa. The new species, Cordylus marunguensis, is described from the Marungu Plateau, a montane area west of Lake Tanganyika in south-eastern Democratic Republic of the Congo.

The expedition that led to the new species discovery in 2010 was led by Eli Greenbaum, assistant professor of evolutionary genetics at the University of Texas at El Paso, and Chifundera Kusamba, a research scientist from the Centre de Recherche en Sciences Naturelles in Congo. The team spent several weeks exploring the area around the plateau for new species of amphibians and reptiles. The new lizard was discovered near the village of Pepa under rocks in grassy fields that were riddled with landmines and unexploded ordnance left over from a heavy conflict that engulfed the region at the turn of the 21st century.

Suspecting the lizard represented a new species, Greenbaum sent DNA samples to Edward Stanley, a student at the American Museum of Natural History's Richard Gilder Graduate School in New York City. Mr. Stanley compared the DNA of the Marungu lizard to similar species throughout Africa and confirmed that it was indeed a new species to science. He bolstered the finding by using a new technique called high resolution x-ray computer tomography to reconstruct the lizard's skeleton in three dimensions, the first time such a technique has been used in a living lizard species description.

The digital reconstruction confirmed the presence of tiny bones called osteoderms in the heavily armored scales of the new species. The reinforced scales are thought to protect the lizards from attacks by predators, and in some cases, to allow the animals to avoid attacks by wedging themselves between small, rocky crevices.

The discovery of the new species offers hope for conservation, even though none of the lizard's habitat is currently protected.

"Although the Marungu Plateau has been heavily damaged by warfare and habitat destruction, the new lizard proves that it is not too late to implement conservation efforts," said Greenbaum. It is hoped that the new discovery will lead to the protection of the plateau's unique plant and animal biodiversity in the near future.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by Taylor & Francis. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Journal Reference:

  1. Eli Greenbaum, Edward L. Stanley, Chifundera Kusamba, Wandege M. Moninga, Stephen R. Goldberg, Charles R. Bursey. A new species ofCordylus(Squamata: Cordylidae) from the Marungu Plateau of south-eastern Democratic Republic of the Congo. African Journal of Herpetology, 2012; 61 (1): 14 DOI: 10.1080/21564574.2012.666505

Cite This Page:

Taylor & Francis. "New species of lizard discovered in Central African minefield." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 8 May 2012. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2012/05/120508094352.htm>.
Taylor & Francis. (2012, May 8). New species of lizard discovered in Central African minefield. ScienceDaily. Retrieved April 20, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2012/05/120508094352.htm
Taylor & Francis. "New species of lizard discovered in Central African minefield." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2012/05/120508094352.htm (accessed April 20, 2014).

Share This



More Plants & Animals News

Sunday, April 20, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Vermont Goat Meat Gives Refugees Taste of Home

Vermont Goat Meat Gives Refugees Taste of Home

AP (Apr. 18, 2014) Dairy farmers and ethnic groups in Vermont are both benefiting from a unique collaborative effort that's feeding a growing need for fresh and affordable goat meat. (April 18) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Man Claims He Found Loch Ness Monster With... Apple Maps?

Man Claims He Found Loch Ness Monster With... Apple Maps?

Newsy (Apr. 18, 2014) Andy Dixon showed the Daily Mail a screenshot of what he believes to be the mythical beast swimming just below the lake's surface. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
First Ever 'Female Penis' Discovered In Animal Kingdom

First Ever 'Female Penis' Discovered In Animal Kingdom

Newsy (Apr. 18, 2014) Not only are these newly discovered bugs' sex organs reversed, but they also mate for up to 70 hours. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Little Progress Made In Fighting Food Poisoning, CDC Says

Little Progress Made In Fighting Food Poisoning, CDC Says

Newsy (Apr. 18, 2014) A new report shows rates of two foodborne infections increased in the U.S. in recent years, while salmonella actually dropped 9 percent. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:

Breaking News:
from the past week

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile: iPhone Android Web
Follow: Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe: RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins