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Two New Species of Woodlizards Discovered in Peru

Mar 21, 2013 02:53 PM EDT
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Tucked away in the formidable Andes mountains researchers have identified two new species of lizards.

Both are colorful, covered in an array of green and brown perfect for blending into the rain forests where they have gone undetected all these years.

The two are different, however, in several ways. The Enyalioides binzayedi, for example, lacks the other's (Enyalioides azulae) long, hanging chin. It does, however, boast a much fiercer-looking set of dorsal crests running alone its spine.

Their names, too, came about in different ways: the former named after the crown prince of Abu Dhabi - Sheikh Mohamed bin Zayed al Nahyan - who helped fund the survey, and the latter after the park where it was found.

As woodlizards, they represent what was once thought to be a creature of limited species; however, this marks the fifth new variety discovered in just the last five years. Previously, the country with the largest number of species was believed to belong to Ecuador at a total of eight. These latest discoveries, however, place Peru in front, claiming home to nine species of woodlizards.

Both kinds of lizards were found in the Cordilera Azul National Park, the country's third largest reserve.

According to the report published in Zoo Keys, the area in which the lizards were located is "poorly explored," leading them to believe "that more species might be awaiting discovery in other areas close to the Andes."

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