BioQuakes

AP Biology class blog for discussing current research in Biology

Smallest Komodo Dragon Out There.

Most everyone knows that Komodo Dragons are the largest lizards on the planet. Surprisingly, humans have only known about these lizards for about 100 years. But thats nothing compared to the newest discovery of a very very small relative of the Komodo dragon. (original article)

These lizards, about the length of a human hand and very skinny, are about as small as the Komodo’s are big. They are even smaller than the pygmy goanna (the short-tailed monitor, V. brevicauda), which, until now, was believed to be the smallest relative of the Komodo Dragon. These new tiny dragons are shorter, thinner, and more boldly colored than the pygmy goanna. It is believed that around the same time chimpanzees and humans begun to separately evolve (between six million and seven million years ago) the pygmy and the newest lizard edition began to evolve separately. Gillenibaumann_01

These little lizards were discovered in Australia, the home of their slightly pygmy goanna larger relatives. Some females can now be seen in the Western Australian Museum in Welshpool. These lizards have yet to be named, but have been nicknamed “Pokey”.

It’s the little discoveries like these that make us realize how much more we still have to learn and discover about our planet. The planet is so vast that in our relatively short period of time here, there is no way we have a full understanding of the creatures we share the earth with!

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3 Comments

  1. Kundan Singh

    Are they venomous ?? Some people say that they spit acidic Saliva which can cause a lethal wound ?? Is there any scientific research supporting these type of statements

  2. herarst

    This is so cool. I didn’t know much about the Komodo dragon before this. This lizard i one of a huge family that has 77 species in it (http://www.sci-news.com/biology/science-dampier-peninsula-goanna-new-species-varanus-australia-02383.html) and that 31 of those species can be found just in Australia. Hard to believe so many branches of species came from one common ancestor.

  3. camouflage

    This is such a great article. It really makes you think about how much is out there in nature and the rest of the world!! It’s incredible how in fifty years time, there will be even more discoveries. I had no idea about this small version of the komodo dragon. I also did not know much about Komodo dragons, so this was very interesting to read. According to the Guardian, this little lizard is going to go on display in a West Australia museum!! I don’t know how much I like them putting the lizard in “captivity” so to speak, however, it does enlighten the community and so forth. (http://www.theguardian.com/environment/2014/dec/30/newly-discovered-dampier-peninsula-goanna-to-go-on-display-at-wa-museum)

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