Posted by: Loren Coleman on May 11th, 2012
African Journal of Herpetology (Eli Greenbaum. Volume 61, Issue 1) announces the discovery of a new species of Cordylus (Squamata: Cordylidae) from the Marungu Plateau of southeastern Democratic Republic of the Congo
An international collaboration of scientists has announced the discovery of a new species of lizard from remote, war-torn mountains in Central Africa. The new species, Cordylus marunguensis, is described from the Marungu Plateau, a montane area west of Lake Tanganyika in south-eastern Democratic Republic of the Congo.
The expedition that led to the new species discovery in 2010 was led by Eli Greenbaum, assistant professor of evolutionary genetics at the University of Texas at El Paso, and Chifundera Kusamba, a research scientist from the Centre de Recherche en Sciences Naturelles in Congo. The team spent several weeks exploring the area around the plateau for new species of amphibians and reptiles. The new lizard was discovered near the village of Pepa under rocks in grassy fields
that were riddled with landmines and unexploded ordnance left over from a heavy conflict that engulfed the region at the turn of the 21st century.
Suspecting the lizard represented a new species, Greenbaum sent DNA
samples to Edward Stanley, a student at the American Museum of
Natural History’s Richard Gilder Graduate School in New York City, according to a report from the Alpha Galileo Foundation.
Stanley confirmed the presence of tiny bones called osteoderms in the heavily armored scales of the new species. The reinforced scales are thought to protect the lizards from attacks by predators.
“Although the Marungu Plateau has been heavily damaged by warfare and habitat destruction, the new lizard proves that it is not too late to implement conservation efforts,” said Greenbaum, who has published an impressive list of papers noting his discovery of new species, see here.
To access his new paper on this lizard for free, click here.
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.