New species of lizard found in Australia

Oct 29, 2012
This Australian National University (ANU) handout photo, released on October 29, shows a six-centimetre (two-inch) long "Ctenotus ora" or the coastal plains skink, sitting on rock. Scientists announced the discovery of this new species, fighting to survive among the sand dunes outside Perth in Western Australia.

Scientists announced Monday the discovery of a new species of lizard fighting to survive among the sand dunes outside Perth in Western Australia.

They fear it is only a matter of time before the six-centimetre (two-inch) long Ctenotus ora, or the coastal plains skink, will be extinct with rapidly closing in.

The discovery, detailed in the , took place during research south of the city to determine the levels of biological diversity in southwestern Australia.

"The discovery of a new species is a momentous occasion in science," said Geoffrey Kay, an ecologist from the Australian National University who found the lizard with colleague Scott Keogh.

"To find something as yet undetected, so close to one of the country's largest cities, demonstrates how much we've still got to discover."

But he warned of the real threat to the .

"Although it's a fantastic discovery, it's poor cause for celebration. Our new lizard is under serious risk of being erased just as suddenly as it appeared to us," he said.

"Only a few of these have ever been found in the wild, so while we know numbers are low, we are not sure of the exact size of the remaining population."

The small stretch of sand the brown and white skink calls home is steadily being concreted.

"Developments along the coastline near Perth need to consider this new lizard and potentially a large number of other species yet to be discovered in this diverse part of the world," added Kay.

Southwestern Australia is recognised as one of the top 25 biodiversity hotspots in the world, alongside places such as Madagascar, the tropical jungles of , and Brazil's Cerrado.

"We've known for a long time that the southwest has an outstanding diversity of plants, as exhibited by its stunning wildflowers," said Kay.

"But only now with this research are we seeing that the level of diversity in animals, in particular reptiles, is far deeper and more extreme than we previously imagined."

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User comments : 17

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Mike_Massen
1.5 / 5 (8) Oct 29, 2012
Wouldnt it be more accurate to say, existing (or unknown) species discovered?
Can we have more precise use of the english language please ?

Linguistics is so inextricably linked with intelligence that if language is imprecise and falls foul of the pressure of advertising type lingo then understanding is diminished and especially so by the young who are new to science.

This can make one understand why some politicians who are previously lawyers just cannot make sense of the precision, logic or complexity necessary in science notably one female republican who claimed recently "Carbon dioxide is portrayed as harmful. But there isn't even one study that can be produced that shows that carbon dioxide is a harmful gas" or words to that effect, just showing how stupid and ignorant she (still) is...

And unfortunately many are so easily influenced by those thought to be in Authority as they have legal or business experience but, were they ever competent ?
Sinister1811
1 / 5 (6) Oct 29, 2012
I'm pretty sure that these are a common sight in a lot of suburban gardens, and that they aren't rare. Unless I'm confusing them with a species that looks almost identical.
Jaeherys
5 / 5 (2) Oct 29, 2012
@Mike_Massen
If the species already existed, we would have discovered it already. An organism only has a species, genus, etc. after we discover it.

For example, lets say there are 10 types of lizards on the planet, all with a human given species and genus but we have only seen 3 of them. How are we supposed to already have a classification for it without actually finding one? We can't just make up 10 species!

It is for that reason that it is a new species. Hope that early morning post makes sense :D
Mike_Massen
1 / 5 (4) Oct 29, 2012
Jaeherys claimed
If the species already existed, we would have discovered it already.
What a stupid narrow comment, this is the dumbest thing I have ever heard, which implies the species is new as in that it was just created for us to 'now' discover it !

What planet are you on ?

The species has been around for an UNKNOWN period of time and very likely much longer than any biological classification system, it OBVIOUSLY has been missed in any sort of census, investigation, examination.

You really have to understand the classification system you refer to is NOT a static, it is a DYNAMIC based most importantly on NEW discoveries of existing or old species that have not yet so far been catalogued...

Please understand the correct use of grammar, and how you make erroneous possibly religious implications implying this species is 'new' using feeble attempts to interpret language written by non-scientists or by scientists badly educated.

Newly discovered not a 'new species' !
Jaeherys
5 / 5 (1) Oct 29, 2012
I see your point, but a species is just a human classification system in which we add species, ie. create them. Obviously the organism has existed for as long as it's existed... But the species does not exist until we find the organism to give it that classification and in so doing we create a new species from a newly discovered organism. This has nothing to do with language and everything to do with how our labelling system works.
Bog_Mire
2.7 / 5 (7) Oct 29, 2012
Grammar Police Weee Wooo Weee Wooo

Mike You are a very old species known as Toolius Maximus. It's natural habitat should not be forums such as this, but some sort of jerk circle or spelling bee.
Mike_Massen
1 / 5 (5) Oct 29, 2012
Jaeherys muttered without logic
But the species does not exist until we find the organism to give it that classification and in so doing we create a new species from a newly discovered organism...
This is where I object to superficial vague rationalisations.

The species obviously EXISTS, its not classified YET !

The term therefore should be "Newly discovered" !

@Bog_Mire

Your objection is not based on experience or if it is you are incompetent in respect of the understanding the young are easily influenced by authority figures such as teachers and scientists and others claiming to be technically proficient.

If you can appreciate good language use leads to good use of available intelligence then your comment should not have been written by you to start with ;-)

The point is others read these notes, sadly many creationists who look for proof god makes species, they then leap on 'evidence' such as these badly worded articles re 'new species'.

Dont give em ammo, they are bad.

El_Nose
5 / 5 (2) Oct 29, 2012
Mike accept that you are wrong...

He is correct it is a new species... it is not a new type of lizard. If you wish to be pedantic, please understand the argument.

The species is new, it is a creation of man. The animal has obviously been around a while. Species is a classification.

The analogy was a very good one when referring to 10 types on a planet. Also in language besides the syntactical rules of grammar and the semantic value of a word there is also a question of whether the phrase is completely understood and correctly interpreted. The Headline had very clear meaning and was completely and correctly understood.

I offer you this question... what else could it have meant where over a 50% chance that you might have interpreted it some other way?

Go away you darn dirty troll
TheGhostofOtto1923
3.5 / 5 (19) Oct 29, 2012
If Mikey would only look things up he might realize that his ignorance is sadly not new:

new  
Adjective
Not existing before; made, introduced, or discovered recently or now for the first time: "new crop varieties".

-I found this in GOOGLE. Much better than making things up or pretending to know things you don't.
TheGhostofOtto1923
3.7 / 5 (20) Oct 29, 2012
Please understand the correct use of grammar, and how you make erroneous possibly religious implications implying this species is 'new' using feeble attempts to interpret language written by non-scientists or by scientists badly educated.
In light of the proper definition of the word 'new', this makes you look more than a little pompous doesn't it?
LariAnn
1 / 5 (5) Oct 29, 2012
Actually, the Christian believers are likely to object that it cannot be new because "there is nothing new under the Sun" since the original creation!! (Ecclesiastes 1:9)

IMHO, the "bad" creationists are no worse than self-centered, self-important "scientists" with delusions of godness and who base their views largely on presumption and speculation, not science. It is a very large leap from adaptation (based on observable facts) to "creation from nothing by random forces" (based on sheer extrapolation/assumption and, hence, speculation) - same problem existed with spontaneous generation, except now the main difference is the addition of millions or billions of years that now allegedly allow it to happen after all.
tadchem
1 / 5 (3) Oct 29, 2012
This is a non-argument. This is a semantic problem in communications, centered on the definition of the word 'species.' As such it is all equivocation.
The lizard and it's population exist. They have only been recently noticed and classified. It is still too early to tell whether they are in danger of extinction, because their numbers and distribution remain unknown.
TheGhostofOtto1923
3.5 / 5 (19) Oct 29, 2012
This is a non-argument. This is a semantic problem in communications, centered on the definition of the word 'species.' As such it is all equivocation.
The lizard and it's population exist. They have only been recently noticed and classified. It is still too early to tell whether they are in danger of extinction, because their numbers and distribution remain unknown.
You moron. Look up the word 'new' and see that includes 'newly discovered'. The people who wrote the article knew this because it is their job to know; as opposed to the imbeciles who merely read it.
Novalaiye
1 / 5 (1) Oct 29, 2012
We have lots of this particular type of lizard here in Nigeria.
Maybe the heading should read differently with no reference to it being a new species.
Mike_Massen
1 / 5 (4) Oct 29, 2012
Sadly TheGhostofOtto1923 doesnt understand the young dont tend to lurch towards dictionaries to check & instead take the easy option.

Writing 'New Species' used to be often interpreted as 'a previously unseen species' or as 'newly discovered'.

Unfortunately that interpretation by the young has been changed only in the last 25 years or so.

For many not able to handle the complexity of a more diverse & rapidly changing world there is an unfortunate gravitation to simple ideas such as creationism when looking for a core meaning.

A sentence starting with 'New Species' is more often interpreted to mean the life-form is new, created by a god or genetically engineered.

@ TheGhostofOtto1923 there ARE 'new crop varieties' these are either cross bred, from tissue cultures subject to artificial selection criteria or via genetic engineering.

Its NOT the same paradigm at all, as you imply, in the way many young misinterpret what should be precise statements with correct assumptions...
TheKnowItAll
1 / 5 (2) Oct 29, 2012
What I gather from the comments is: The species is new but not the lizard itself? Way to kill my excitement :/
So they created a new species for a newly discovered lizard...Did I get it right?
Alway keep the titles short and sweet lol
TheGhostofOtto1923
3.6 / 5 (19) Oct 29, 2012
Unfortunately that interpretation by the young has been changed only in the last 25 years or so.
Funny, you look like an old greyhaired ponytailed geezer on facebook. Ahaaahaaahahaha pussytard you dimwit.
Its NOT the same paradigm at all
Another word you dont know.

"Paradigm
1: example, pattern; especially: an outstandingly clear or typical example or archetype
2: an example of a conjugation or declension showing a word in all its inflectional forms
3: a philosophical and theoretical framework of a scientific school or discipline within which theories, laws, and generalizations and the experiments performed in support of them are formulated; broadly: a philosophical or theoretical framework of any kind"
the young dont tend to lurch towards dictionaries to check & instead take the easy option.
-Translation: pussytard reserves the right to make up any damn thing she wants, including phoney suckpuppets with obviously phoney backround info. SOP.