Navigation Links
New monitor lizard discovered in Indonesia
Date:4/26/2010

(Santa Barbara, Calif.) A newly discovered species of monitor lizard, a close relative of the Komodo dragon, was reported in the journal Zootaxa this week by a professor at UC Santa Barbara and a researcher from Finland.

Sam Sweet, a professor in the department of Ecology, Evolution and Marine Biology at UCSB, and Valter Weijola, a graduate student at Abo Akademi University in Turku, Finland, are the first to describe the distinctive lizard, which lives in the Moluccan islands of east Indonesia. Sweet is an authority on monitor lizard biology.

The scientific name of this lizard is Varanus obor; its popular names are Torch monitor and Sago monitor. It's called Torch monitor because of its bright orange head with a glossy black body. Obor means torch in Indonesian. It is a close relative of the fruit-eating monitor lizard recently reported from the Philippines. The Torch monitor can grow to nearly four feet in length, and thrives on a diet of small animals and carrion.

The Torch monitor exists only on the small island of Sanana in the western Moluccan islands. A unique aspect of this geographical region is the lack of mammalian predators, which may have given reptiles the space to evolve as the top terrestrial predators and scavengers. Several million years ago, this island was situated near New Guinea, and it is possible that the lizard lives on as a relic from that period. It is the only black monitor in its lineage, and the only monitor species anywhere that has evolved red pigmentation.

Sweet describes an important biological context: "East of Wallace's Line the boundary between Asian and Australian domains there are no native carnivorous mammals, and monitor lizards fill that role. There are more species there, doing more different things ecologically than in Africa or South and Southeast Asia, where competition and predation by mammals tend to keep monitor lizards down. East of Wallace's Line in Indonesia, New Guinea, and Australia, monitor lizards are on the top of the heap. It emphasizes again how little we know about some tropical regions, to find an animal so strikingly colored and so large only last year."

Weijola discovered the lizard last spring, and returned with Sweet in late 2009 for five weeks to do studies and take photographs of the animal. The Torch monitor is most common in the coastal sago palm swamps and belongs to the mangrove monitor, V. indicus group.


'/>"/>

Contact: Gail Gallessich
gail.g@ia.ucsb.edu
805-893-7220
University of California - Santa Barbara
Source:Eurekalert  

Related biology news :

1. Chronix Biomedicals serum DNA assays monitor disease activity and treatment response in MS
2. Chemist monitors nanotechnologys environmental impact
3. Counting frogs: Why monitoring our amphibian populations is important
4. Boost ivory trade monitoring and enforcement before allowing one-off sales: UBC researcher
5. Fluorescence monitoring and effect of photodynamic therapy for port wine stains
6. Volcano monitoring will target hazard threat to Marianas, US military and commercial jets
7. ACS webinar features developments in online water and wastewater monitoring
8. Listen to the natives for better moose monitoring
9. New Fujitsu UHF RFID Technology Implemented at Fairmont Pacific Rim Hotel for Advanced Inventory Monitoring
10. Breakthrough in monitoring tropical deforestation announced in Copenhagen
11. World forest observatory needed to monitor vital role of forests in climate deal
Post Your Comments:
*Name:
*Comment:
*Email:
Related Image:
New monitor lizard discovered in Indonesia
(Date:4/3/2017)... April 3, 2017  Data captured by ... platform, detected a statistically significant association between ... to treatment and objective response of cancer ... to predict whether cancer patients will respond ... as well as to improve both pre-infusion potency ...
(Date:3/30/2017)... KONG , March 30, 2017 The ... a system for three-dimensional (3D) fingerprint identification by adopting ground breaking ... into a new realm of speed and accuracy for use in ... at an affordable cost. ... ...
(Date:3/29/2017)... , March 29, 2017  higi, the health IT ... North America , today announced a ... the acquisition of EveryMove. The new investment and acquisition ... of tools to transform population health activities through the ... data. higi collects and secures data today ...
Breaking Biology News(10 mins):
(Date:6/20/2017)... ... June 20, 2017 , ... Do More with OHAUS , With the ... trusted supplier in the weighing industry, to extending its expertise across the entire laboratory ... immunoassays, hybridizations and more, allowing for its customers to 'Do More' in ...
(Date:6/19/2017)... Ames, Iowa (PRWEB) , ... June 19, 2017 , ... ... and interplay among its cells and tissues by delivering pollen and nectar containing nutrients ... and the means to stay healthy. , Many recent indicators point to a decline ...
(Date:6/15/2017)... , ... June 15, 2017 , ... ... has secured a Series B round of financing in the amount of $6 ... of private investors participated in the round. , The Series B funding will ...
(Date:6/14/2017)... , ... June 14, 2017 , ... ... 8th to discuss the initiative steered by the executive search firm, “Building Value ... of the Board of Directors of Foundation Medicine, led an open discussion with ...
Breaking Biology Technology: