Ivan Sanderson and the Lightbulb Lizard

Posted by: Karl Shuker on August 29th, 2017

Among the fishes and several different taxonomic groups of invertebrate (including comb jellies, cnidarians, molluscs, insects, centipedes, millipedes, crustaceans, and annelid worms) are many bioluminescent species. That is, living creatures which actively carry out chemical processes to produce and emit light. Officially, however, there are no bioluminescent species among the terrestrial vertebrates, but American cryptozoologist Ivan Sanderson once made an astonishing claim that a notable, hitherto-undiscovered exception to this rule – namely, a bioluminescent species of lizard – existed on the Caribbean island of Trinidad.


(c) Philippa Foster

I first learnt about, and then duly investigated, this fascinating yet surprisingly little-known case back in the mid-1990s, and here is what I uncovered at that time, followed by the extraordinary revelations that have occurred since then – yielding in this present article of mine the most comprehensive account ever published online.

Further details can be accessed here on my ShukerNature blog.

Karl Shuker About Karl Shuker

My name is Dr Karl P.N. Shuker. I am a zoologist (BSc & PhD), media consultant, and the author of 25 books and hundreds of articles, specialising in cryptozoology and animal mythology. I have a BSc (Honours) degree in pure zoology from the University of Leeds (U.K.), and a PhD in zoology and comparative physiology from the University of Birmingham (U.K.).

I have acted jointly as consultant and major contributor to three multi-author volumes on cryptozoology and other mysterious phenomena.

I am the Life Sciences Consultant to The Guinness Book of Records/Guinness World Records (Guinness: London, 1997-present day), and was consultant to Monsters (Lorenz Books: London, 2001), as well as a contributor to Mysteries of the Deep (Llewellyn: St Paul, 1998), Guinness Amazing Future (Guinness: London, 1999), The Earth (Channel 4 Books: London, 2000), and Chambers Dictionary of the Unexplained (Chambers: London, 2007).
I appear regularly on television & radio, was a consultant for the Discovery TV series Into the Unknown, and a question setter for the BBC’s quiz show Mastermind.
I am a Scientific Fellow of the Zoological Society of London, a Fellow of the Royal Entomological Society, a Member of the Society of Authors, and the Cryptozoology Consultant for the Centre for Fortean Zoology (CFZ).
I have written articles for numerous publications, including Fortean Times, The X Factor, Paranormal Magazine, FATE, Strange Magazine, Prediction, Beyond, Uri Geller’s Encounters, Phenomena, Alien Encounters, Wild About Animals, All About Cats, All About Dogs, Cat World, etc.
In 2005, I was honoured by the naming of a new species of loriciferan invertebrate after me – Pliciloricus shukeri.





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