Literally lost in the early 1800’s, a monitor lizard species is rediscovered in Papua New Guinea

Main report: "Lost" monitor lizard species rediscovered in Papua New Guinea
(Live Science)
Other Reporting: CBS News, Sci-News, Science Daily
Scientific Paper: Australian Journal of Zoology   
Categories: Lazarus Species | New Species | Reptiles

A monitor lizard lost to science in an 1800s shipwreck has been rediscovered on New Ireland, an island in Papua New Guinea.

The medium-size monitor, Varanus douarrha, was first identified by French naturalist René Lesson in 1823. The specimen of the lizard collected by Lesson went down in a shipwreck off the Cape of Good Hope in 1824, however, so the monitor lizard was never systematically studied.  Varanus douarrha is now identified as a distinct from a the common mangrove monitor species (Varanus indicus) found all over New Guinea.

Varanus douarrha was first described for science in 1823, but the original specimen went down in an 1824 shipwreck. Poto Valter Weijola


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