Scientists Spot Three New ‘Dwarf Dragons’ Species In South American Forests
Three new species of dwarf dragons have been found by the scientists in Ecuador and Peru. These reptiles, commonly called wood lizards, live in the south American forests and are considered as the most colorful species, resembling miniature version of mythical dragons.
The research team was comprised of Omar Torres-Carvajal of Ecuador, Pablo J. Venegas of Peru, and Kevin de Queiroz. The discovery was made in Tropical Andes — the area which is known for its richness in biological diversity.
Despite belonging to the same genus, Enyalioides altotambo, Enyalioides anisolepis and Enyalioides sophiarothschildae are not similar. The difference follows the variation in their coloration and scale arrangements. The scientists analyzed genetic codes of the animal before reaching to the conclusion that these were unique creatures.
Until 2006, there were only six known species of woodlizards. But during the last couple of years, scientists have been able to found more species which has proven that diversity of these conspicuous reptiles had been “underestimated,” Torres-Carvajal said in a press release.
The discovery of three new species has once again substantiated the diversity of woodlizards. With this, the total number of known species of the animals has reached 15.
Scientists were surprised by the fact that it took quite a long time to find these easily spotable species with sparkling appearance. The researchers are forecasting that there can be more species of the south American forests which can be spotted in future. “The reason we didn’t find more is that we didn’t actually look,” Torres-Carvajal noted.
The study has been detailed in the journal ZooKeys.