Sunday, 14 February 2016

The scaled king and his knight: Two new giant bent-toed gecko species from New Guinea


Date:February 11, 2016
Source:Pensoft Publishers

The extremely complex geological history of New Guinea has allowed many of its animals and plants the chance to grow different enough to make a name for themselves. In the case of two newly described and unusually large gecko species -- only a noble name would do. The two new species whose names respectively mean 'knight' and 'king' were discovered by a team led by Dr. Paul Oliver, The Australian National University and University of Melbourne, are described in the open-access journal ZooKeys.

Both new species belong to the world's most diverse gecko genus Cyrtodactylus which comprises more than 200 species known to date. These reptiles are commonly called bent-toed or bow-fingered geckos due to their distinctive slender curved toes. They occur through Asia and Australia.

These 200 species vary greatly in size, build and colouration. However, one of the newly described species, called C. rex, meaning "king" in Latin, is the largest species in the genus, and among the biggest of all geckos in the world.

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