New lizard species found in the Philippines

Fruit-eating animal lives in trees, hunted for flesh

A dragon-sized lizard that eats fruit and lives in the trees on the island of Luzon, in the northern Philippines, has been confirmed as a new species, Reuters reports. The forest monitor lizard, which is brightly coloured and is hunted for its “tasty flesh,” can grow over six feet long but only weighs about 22 pounds. “It lives up in trees, so it can’t get as massive as the Komodo dragon, a huge thing that eats large amounts of fresh meat,” said Rafe Brown of the University of Kansas, whose team confirmed the find. “This thing is a fruit-eater and it’s only the third fruit-eating lizard in the world.” Humans are its primary predator, so the lizard is able to effectively hide from them, which might be why it went undetected for so long. Biologists first saw photographs of the lizard in 2001.


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