Posted by: Loren Coleman on May 29th, 2007
The discovery of a new species of limbless lizard (pictured above), belonging to the genus Sepsophis, was announced on May 28, 2007.
The seven-inch-long lizard was found 10 days before during a field study in the forested region of Khandadhar near Raurkela in Orissa state, India, about 625 miles southeast of New Delhi.
It prefers to live in a cool retreat, soft soil and below stones. The lizard is new to science and is an important discovery. It is not found anywhere else in the world. The new species will be scientifically described at a later stage after accumulation of more data. Dr. Sushil Kumar Dutta of Vasundhra and Head of Zoology, North Orissa University, Baripada, India, as told to the Associated Press.
The closest relatives of the new species are found in Sri Lanka and South Africa.
Another species of the same genus, Sepsohis punctatus, was found in 1870 from the Golconda hills in Andhra Pradesh, said Varadi Giri, a scientist at the Bombay Natural History Society, who was not part of the team that found the lizard. Giri said Dutta is a reputed zoologist and his claim appears legitimate.
“But for an independent confirmation, one has to wait for the publication of the finding in a reputed science magazine,” Giri noted.
Loren Coleman is one of the world’s leading cryptozoologists, some say “the” leading living cryptozoologist. 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. He returned as an infrequent contributor beginning Halloween week of 2015. Coleman is the founder in 2003, and current director of the International Cryptozoology Museum in Portland, Maine.