New Dragon Confirmed in the Philippines

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It is not everyday that a new species of land creature that measures over 6 1/2 feet in length is discovered. Sure fish, toads, small reptiles, insects and other new species are discovered all the time in the rain forests of Brazil or Indonesia. But back in 2004 when researchers captured a 6 1/2 foot long giant golden spotted monitor, they knew they discovered something special. It took several years of DNA tests to confirm but finally it has been revealed that the Golden Spotted Monitor lizard found in the Philippines is indeed a new species. The nearly 7 foot long lizard lives in the Sierra Madre mountains and primarily eats fruits and snails rather than carcasses like most other lizards of this size. It is a cousin to the Comodo dragon and its latin name is Varanus bitatawa.

Like many animals and reptiles it is in danger of destruction from the wide spread deforestation going on on the island and may be an endangered species if accurate counting of its numbers can be attained.

-Justin Germino

Updated: April 11, 2010 — 1:33 pm