New 'Moby Dick' lizard species found in Madagascar

January 15, 2013

A new lizard species has been discovered in Madagascar and named "Moby Dick" mermaid skink—after the albino sperm whale imagined by Herman Melville—for its flipper-like forelimbs and unpigmented skin, France's National Centre for Scientific Research said Tuesday.

The CNRS said the "Sirenoscincus mobydick" presents a unique combination of anatomical features that can be found in amphibians, reptiles, mammals and birds.

The discovery, made by French, Malagasy, American and German researchers, was published in the Zoosystema journal at the end of December.

The centre said the "Moby Dick" lizard was discovered in the dry north-western forests of Madagascar.

Because of its life underground, the animal's skin has lost pigmentation and its eyes have almost disappeared. And although the lizard has retained , its hindlimbs have completely disappeared.

The centre called it an "morphological organisation" reminiscent of cetaceans, the carnivorous marine mammals such as whales and dolphins.

Explore further: Fossil discovery marks earliest record of limbloss in ancient lizard

Related Stories

New monitor lizard discovered in Indonesia

April 26, 2010

A newly discovered species of monitor lizard, a close relative of the Komodo dragon, was reported in the journal Zootaxa this week by a professor at UC Santa Barbara and a researcher from Finland.

Giant predatory whale named for 'Moby Dick' author

June 30, 2010

(AP) -- Scientists have discovered an ancient whale whose bite ripped huge chunks of flesh out of other whales about 12 million years ago - and they've named it after the author of "Moby Dick."

New iridescent lizard species found in Cambodia

February 22, 2012

A new species of lizard with striking iridescent rainbow skin, a long tail and very short legs has been discovered in the rainforest in northeast Cambodia, conservationists announced Wednesday.

New species of lizard found in Australia

October 29, 2012

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

Recommended for you

Fighting explosives pollution with plants

September 3, 2015

Biologists at the University of York have taken an important step in making it possible to clean millions of hectares of land contaminated by explosives.

1 comment

Adjust slider to filter visible comments by rank

Display comments: newest first

Anda
not rated yet Jan 15, 2013
Pictures and details here:
http://rhamphothe...id-skink

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.