Mon, Feb 27, 2017 | updated 12:49 PM IST

Scientists discover two new species of lizards

Updated: Nov 17, 2016 11:29 IST

Washington D.C. [USA], Nov.17 (ANI): Scientists have discovered two new species of lizards in the Andean highlands of Southern Chile.

The two reptiles, collected from areas of heroic past, were named after courageous tribal chiefs who have once fought against colonial Spaniards in the Arauco war. The study, conducted by a team of Chilean scientists, is published in the open access journal ZooKeys.

Jaime Troncoso-Palacios from Universidad de Chile and his team found both new species near a lake in a pre-Andean zone among deciduous vegetation. Following the examination of the collected specimens and further analysis of their mitochondrial DNA, performed by Dr. Alvaro A. Elorza from Universidad Andres Bello, Chile, the scientists concluded that they belong to species unknown to science.

One of the species, called Liolaemus janequeoae, or, Janequeo`s Lizard, is distinct for being smaller than its relatives, measuring a maximum of roughly 7 centimeters at length, as well as having no pattern on its back. Both features are quite striking for the group of lizards it belongs to. The only contrasting coloration for the species are several white scales appearing on the upper side in males. Otherwise, the species are predominantly light brown with pearly whitish down side of the body.

In the local Lonko tribe's history, Janequeo was a prominent chief, who lost her partner during the Arauco war, after he was caught and tortured to death by the colonial Spaniards. She is said to have had a leading role in the Battle of Fort Puchunqui. Coincidentally, the new species was discovered where the war once took place, in the Araucanía Region.

The second new species, called Liolaemus leftrarui, or Leftraru`s Lizard, was collected from the same locality, hence it also received a heroic name honoured in the Arauco war. It is called after the most prominent Mapuche tribal chief. According to the stories, he was taken by the Kingdom of Chile's Governor at the age of 11 to become his servant. There, however, he learned the military strategy of the Spanish, managed to escape and joined his people in the war. Later, not only did he kill his former master, but also won the most remarkable victories over the Spaniards.

The Leftraru`s Lizard is a large species of about 8 centimeters in length, characterised with absent precloacal pores, a common feature for its lizard group, save few. On the upper side of its body there are also unusual light blue dots. Overall, its colour is brown splashed with dark brown spots. Apart from the blue scattered scales on the back, there is also a bit of green on its head, limbs and tail. At the rear it becomes yellowish.

In conclusion, the authors note that the lizard fauna of Chile has been mistakenly assumed to be quite scarce up until recently. Yet, their latest discovery, along with several other new species, described in recent years, could be a clear sign that, "some populations under study could be described as new species in the future". (ANI)

New clues found for nuclear waste cleanup

Updated: Feb 24, 2017 09:35 IST

Washington D.C. (USA), Feb. 24 (ANI): According to a study, the research being done on the chemistry of technetium-99 has boosted the understanding of the challenging nuclear waste and can lead to better cleanup methods.

Full Story >>

Washington D.C. [US], Feb. 24 (ANI): US researchers have suggested that specially trained dogs can be used to find wide-ranging species that are often threatened, sepecially cheetah in a region of Western Zambia.

Full Story >>

Washington D.C. [USA], Feb. 23(ANI): NASA's Spitzer Space Telescope has revealed the first known system of seven Earth-size planets around a single star. Three of these planets are firmly located in the habitable zone, the area around the parent star where a rocky planet is most likely to have liquid water.

Full Story >>

Noida (Uttar Pradesh) [India], Feb.22 (ANI): Germany's Alexander von Humboldt (AvH) Foundation has handed over equipment worth € 20, 000 to Amity University for accelerating research initiatives.

Full Story >>

Washington D.C. (USA), Feb 21 (ANI): The world's first battery to use only hydronium ions as the charge carrier has been been developed by scientists.

Full Story >>

Washington D.C. (USA), Feb. 21 (ANI): According to a new study, Carnegie's Stephen Elardo and Anat Shahar shows that interactions between iron and nickel under the extreme pressures and temperatures similar to a planetary interior can help scientists understand the period in our Solar System's youth when planets were forming and their cores were created.

Full Story >>

Washington D.C. [USA], Feb. 18 (ANI): To boost breeding of endangered poultry breeds, Briton researchers have come up with gene-editing techniques for the rare breeds to use them as surrogates that cannot produce their own chicks.

Full Story >>

Meet 'Bernardbowen'- the new minor planet

Updated: Feb 18, 2017 07:00 IST

Washington D.C. [USA], Feb. 18 (ANI): In a major development, a team of scientists have officially named a minor planet as 'Bernardbowen' that sits in the asteroid belt between Mars and Jupiter.

Full Story >>

New York [USA], Feb. 17 (ANI): NASA has called on the world to help it in the search for the new ninth planet, as anyone from a kindergartener to a 95-year-old, can participate in their new project to find the not-yet-discovered celestial body.

Full Story >>

Washington D.C. [USA], Feb. 9 (ANI): To cut down the number of traffic fatalities, drive less!

Full Story >>

Washington D.C. [USA], Feb. 8 (ANI): According to an international team of astronomers led by researchers from University Of Cambridge, the Magellanic Clouds, the two largest satellite galaxies of the Milky Way, appear to be connected by a bridge stretching across 43,000 light years.

Full Story >>

Washington D.C. [USA], Jan. 25 (ANI): A team of researchers have discovered prehistoric wolf-sized otter fossils with a large head and a powerful jaw, weighing around 100 pounds, in China's Yunnan province.

Full Story >>

Washington D.C. [USA], Jan. 25 (ANI): A study finds that early identification of hearing loss in newborn due to a disease or physical abnormality by birth may help them in better language outcomes as they grow.

Full Story >>

Chennai [India], Jan.14 (ANI-Businesswire India): While "Jallikattu" seems to be the trending topic of discussion in Tamil Nadu at the moment, a silent revolution envisioned by youth icon and late Former President of India, Dr. APJ Abdul Kalam has quietly gained momentum. Ignite-India is a nation-wide innovation platform for student innovators and young entrepreneurs in high schools and colleges. Founded by International swimmer Agnishwar Jayaprakash in 2014, the organization has designed & hosted 96 Regional Innovation Conferences and 3 National Innovation Conferences across 36 cities in India where students competed to showcased their innovative creations. These innovations were judged based on the practicality, creativity & sustainability by technical experts from diverse fields.

Full Story >>

New Delhi [India], Jan. 13 (ANI): New computer simulations have shown that tiny droplets of sulphuric acid resulted in long-lasting cooling, which was a likely contributor to the death of land-living dinosaurs.

Full Story >>

New human organ in digestive system discovered

Updated: Jan 05, 2017 06:27 IST

New Delhi [India], Jan. 5 (ANI): Scientists have discovered what they are calling a new human organ that exists in the digestive system.

Full Story >>

Washington D.C. [USA], January 4 (ANI): Songbirds divorce, pack up and leave and miss their best chances for successful reproduction, courtesy suburban development.

Full Story >>

How do conch shells have such huge variety?

Updated: Jan 04, 2017 05:52 IST

Washington D.C. [USA], January 4 (ANI): Conch shells and its varied shapes and size have always been something that has captivated the eyes of collectors.

Full Story >>

Washington D.C. [USA], Dec. 31 (ANI): A new study finds that despite English being considered the common language of global science, over 30 percent of new scientific reports are published other languages due to which many major findings have been overlooked.

Full Story >>