Posted by: Loren Coleman on November 24th, 2009
A new species of chameleon has been discovered in Tanzania by a team of scientists.
Dr. Andrew Marshall, from the Environment Department at the University of York, first spotted the animal while surveying monkeys in the Magombera Forest when he disturbed a twig snake eating one.
The specimen was collected, tested and compared to two others found by scientists in the same area and has now been named Kinyongia magomberae (the Magombera chameleon) in research published in the African Journal of Herpetology.
Dr. Marshall is co-author of the study alongside researchers from the Museo Tridentino di Scienze Naturali, the South African National Biodiversity Institute, Anglia Ruskin University and the University of Stellenbosch.
“Discovering a new species is a rare event so to be involved in the identification and naming of this animal is very exciting. Chameleon species tend to be focused in small areas and, unfortunately, the habitat this one depends on, the Magombera Forest, is under threat. Hopefully this discovery will support efforts to provide this area and others like it with greater protection,” said Andrew Marshall.
”I’ve been working in Tanzania for around 11 years now and have identified a couple of new tree species, but to find a vertebrate is pretty special. Obviously chameleons are very well camouflaged. You walk through the forest and tend not to see them,” he said.
Dr. Marshall, who is also Director of Conservation Science at the Flamingo Land theme park and zoo, is leading a research project investigating changes in the Magombera Forest. The forest is an important resource for people in the area and home to wildlife, including endangered red colobus monkeys.
Source: ”A new species of chameleon (Sauria: Chamaeleonidae: Kinyongia) from the Magombera forest and the Udzungwa Mountains National Park, Tanzania” is published in volume 58(2) of the African
Journal of Herpetology.
Loren Coleman is one of the world’s leading cryptozoologists, some say “the” leading. Certainly, he is acknowledged as the current living American researcher and writer who has most popularized cryptozoology in the late 20th and early 21st centuries. Starting his fieldwork and investigations in 1960, after traveling and trekking extensively in pursuit of cryptozoological mysteries, Coleman began writing to share his experiences in 1969. An honorary member of Ivan T. Sanderson’s Society for the Investigation of the Unexplained in the 1970s, Coleman has been bestowed with similar honorary memberships of the North Idaho College Cryptozoology Club in 1983, and in subsequent years, that of the British Columbia Scientific Cryptozoology Club, CryptoSafari International, and other international organizations. He was also a Life Member and Benefactor of the International Society of Cryptozoology (now-defunct). Loren Coleman’s daily blog, as a member of the Cryptomundo Team, served as an ongoing avenue of communication for the ever-growing body of cryptozoo news from 2005 through 2013.