Friday, 14 November 2014

Scientists Discover New Species Of Gecko In Madagascar

November 14, 2014

Lisa Powers for – Your Universe Online

Geckos usually try to sell us car insurance, but now they’re dominating airwaves for another reason.

According to a paper published in Zoosystematics and Evolution, scientists have discovered a new species of nocturnal gecko in northern Madagascar, one they’re calling Paroedura hordiesi.

A master of disguise, P. hordiesi has a unique camouflage pattern that allows it to blend in with its natural habitat–karstic limestone massifs, or distinct masses of rocks that may or may not connect to form mountain ranges. The species also lacks eye lids, which is a common trait amongst geckos, and is related to the eyeball having a fixed lens within the iris that enlarges during darkness to allow these nocturnal lizards to see better.

Researchers believe the region’s physiogeography is to credit for the Paroedura hordiesi’s speciation, as Madagascar’s massifs create “islands” where populations of species are isolated from other populations and evolve over time to become different species.

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