BONN, Germany, May 20 (UPI) — German scientists say they have found three new monitor lizards in the Philippines, suggesting an underestimation of the lizards’ Southeast Asian diversity.
Andre Koch of the Zoological Research Museum in Bonn, Germany; University of Bonn Professor Wolfgang Bohme and Maren Gaulke of the GeoBio-Center at Ludwig Maximilian University in Munich, Germany, described two new monitor lizard species and one new subspecies.
“After the spectacular discovery of several new monitor lizards from the Indonesian island of Sulawesi three years ago, our results now illustrate the diversity of water monitor lizards in the Philippines has also been largely underestimated,” said Koch, a doctoral candidate at the University of Bonn.
“It’s amazing that these largest living lizards of the world have been neglected for so long and that new species come up time and again,” Bohme said. “It shows that even with large vertebrates not all species of our planet are recognized and named. There are too few experts in the world, the education level at universities is declining and the essential knowledge about the global biodiversity stands to get lost!”
The findings are detailed in the journal Zootaxa.
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