New chameleon species discovered in East Africa (w/ Podcast)

November 23, 2009
This is an image of Kinyongia magomberae (the Magombera chameleon). Credit: University of York

A new species of chameleon has been discovered in Tanzania by a team of scientists.

Dr Andrew Marshall, from the Environment Department at the University of York, first spotted the animal while surveying monkeys in the Magombera when he disturbed a twig snake eating one.

The specimen was collected, tested and compared to two others found by scientists in the same area and has now been named Kinyongia magomberae (the Magombera ) in research published in the African Journal of Herpetology.

This video is not supported by your browser at this time.
Dr Andrew Marshall, from the Environment Department at the University of York, discusses the discovery of Kinyongia magomberae and his wider work in Tanzania. Credit: University of York

Dr Marshall is co-author of the study alongside researchers from the Museo Tridentino di Scienze Naturali, the South African National Biodiversity Institute, Anglia Ruskin University and the University of Stellenbosch.

He said: "Discovering a new species is a rare event so to be involved in the identification and naming of this animal is very exciting.

"Chameleon species tend to be focused in small areas and, unfortunately, the habitat this one depends on, the Magombera Forest, is under threat. Hopefully this discovery will support efforts to provide this area and others like it with greater protection."

Dr Marshall, who is also Director of Conservation Science at the Flamingo Land theme park and zoo, is leading a research project investigating changes in the Magombera Forest. The forest is an important resource for people in the area and home to wildlife, including endangered red colobus monkeys.

The project combines research into the biology of the forest with education for local people on how to manage it in a more sustainable way. The ultimate aim is to develop protected status for the forest and find alternative ways of meeting the needs of local communities.

Source: University of York

Explore further: Monkey species discovery overshadowed by threat

Related Stories

Lost forest yields several new species

August 7, 2007

An expedition led by the Wildlife Conservation Society (WCS) to a remote corner of the eastern Democratic Republic of Congo has uncovered unique forests which, so far, have been found to contain six animal species new to ...

Recommended for you

Genomes uncover life's early history

August 24, 2015

A University of Manchester scientist is part of a team which has carried out one of the biggest ever analyses of genomes on life of all forms.

Rare nautilus sighted for the first time in three decades

August 25, 2015

In early August, biologist Peter Ward returned from the South Pacific with news that he encountered an old friend, one he hadn't seen in over three decades. The University of Washington professor had seen what he considers ...

Study shows female frogs susceptible to 'decoy effect'

August 28, 2015

(Phys.org)—A pair of researchers has found that female túngaras, frogs that live in parts of Mexico and Central and South America, appear to be susceptible to the "decoy effect." In their paper published in the journal ...

0 comments

Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more

Click here to reset your password.
Sign in to get notified via email when new comments are made.