New Giant Lizard Found in the Philippines

Varanus-bitawawa2A dragon-sized lizard was found in the mountains of Sierra Madre in the northern Philippines.

The lizard, which can weigh up to 10 kilograms, lives up in trees and eats fruits. It is only the third-fruit eating lizard in the world. It sports a color of bright yellow, blue and green.

It has been hunted by the local tribes people in the mountains yet it is only now that the scientists was able to recognize it as a unique species. How it eluded scientists for so many years will probably remain a mystery, since it is already rare to discover a new species that is considered big in size.

It is classified as a monitor lizard, the same class as that of the well-known Komodo dragon.

The research team, consisting of scientists from the United States, the Philippines and the Netherlands, published the discovery in the Royal Society Journal Biology Letters.

With its 7,107 islands, the Philippines is one the world’s greatest reservoirs of biodiversity and endemism. In fact, it is in the top ten most biologically mega-diverse countries and almost at the top when it comes to biodiversity per unit area.

[image credit: DISCOVER]