Lazarus Lizard

A genetics survey ‘resurrects’ a sailfin dragon species that was misclassified in 1872, while providing a new blueprint for patrolling a black market trade. Credit: Scott Corning

A genetics survey ‘resurrects’ a sailfin dragon species that was misclassified in 1872, while providing a new blueprint for patrolling a black market trade. Credit: Scott Corning

He’s grown bigger since the last video. Chico chopped off his own tail a few months back (I think maybe he was upset about being in his cage).

Such is a life in captivity for a sailfin dragon as retold on YouTube, where there are over 1,400 videos of Hydrosaurus lizards. The vibrant reptiles are often illegally poached from their island homes on the Philippines, east Indonesia, and New Guinea, but a study has uncovered a new weapon for patrolling these black markets: the sailfin dragon’s genes.

The researchers also correct a 140-year-old taxonomy error, revealing a sailfin dragon species that was hiding in plain sight. For more, click for the full story at Science Magazine.

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