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A new, beautifully colored lizard discovered in the Peruvian Andes

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posted on Feb, 17 2012 @ 06:39 PM
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Here's a colorful new discovery from the mountains of Peru.
The Potamites Montanicola, or Mountain Dweller is a semi-aquatic lizard
that was found high in the Andes mountains.

It's a curious discovery due to the altitude they have been found at
( between 1,600 to 2,100 meters ), and that they appear to be nocturnal,
causing some debate about how they maintain body temperature at night.

Potamites montanicola, males



www.eurekalert.org...


Germán Chávez and Diego Vásquez from the Centro de Ornitología y Biodiversidad (CORBIDI) in Peru have discovered a new colorful lizard which they named Potamites montanicola, or "mountain dweller". The new species was found in Cordillera de Vilcabamba and Apurimac river valley, the Cusco Region of Peru at altitude ranging from 1,600 to 2,100 meters. Their study was published in the open access journal ZooKeys.

"The new discovery raises some questions", say the authors. This is the only member of the genus known to live at such altitude. It is yet unknown what biological mechanisms help the lizard to survive in this harsh environment, much colder than what it's relatives in the genus prefer. Scientists also believe the lizard may be nocturnal, which raises the question of how it maintains its body temperature during night time. In some cases, individuals were observed swimming in streams, which is rather unusual behavior for the members this genus.


Potamites montanicola, female


www.sci-news.com...


“According to our field data, this species is very restricted to streams with fresh temperatures of 14 to 16 Celsius degrees,” Dr. Chávez explained. “The most of the specimens were observed at night, thus we believe that this species is nocturnal (active at night), but we can’t confirm this. We also found some individuals at day (some recently collected specimens). They were always spotted under rocks, probably with lower activity than at night when we found the specimens running or swimming.”

“The males have great colors on the vental region of the body. They can be light blue, electric blue with black spots or yellow with black spots, while the ventral region in females can be creamy white or light red. Males are longer than females.


An adult male


novataxa.blogspot.com...
www.herpnation.com...
www.pensoft.net... m-southern-peru
edit on 17-2-2012 by isyeye because: (no reason given)




posted on Feb, 17 2012 @ 06:50 PM
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They are beautiful! Thanks for sharing!



posted on Feb, 17 2012 @ 06:53 PM
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Purdy, I love how nature assigns traits for defense, as in markings that represent big eyes. Interesting spike-age too.

Peace



posted on Feb, 17 2012 @ 07:06 PM
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isn't she a beauty! ( in my Steve Irwin voice)



posted on Feb, 18 2012 @ 07:41 AM
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reply to post by isyeye
 


these guys are really cool! nice discovery,but unfortunately,it will be another reptile the pet industry will capitalize on.



posted on Feb, 18 2012 @ 08:48 AM
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reply to post by isyeye
 


What a beautiful little creature!

Thank you.



posted on Feb, 18 2012 @ 08:52 AM
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Absolutely gorgeous! Thanks for sharing this!



posted on Feb, 18 2012 @ 10:08 AM
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Judging by the pics its a shame there are 5 males less now.

Thats science for ya.



posted on Feb, 18 2012 @ 10:10 AM
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Great colors - very beautiful!
Thank you for sharing!



posted on Feb, 18 2012 @ 10:12 AM
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Beautiful! Thanks for sharing.

Given their body structure, colors, and living conditions, they seem to be related to skinks, but I might be wrong.



posted on Feb, 18 2012 @ 11:54 AM
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reply to post by isyeye
 


Incredible critters!
That is some altitude for a semi aquatic reptile-they have cold blood after all...it must be chilly.

Life finds a way,as they say.

S+F



posted on Feb, 18 2012 @ 12:08 PM
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I heart my country!!!!



posted on Feb, 18 2012 @ 05:54 PM
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Very nice find op...thanks for sharing



posted on Feb, 18 2012 @ 06:23 PM
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All I see is Five DEAD males!
first pic...



posted on Feb, 18 2012 @ 06:41 PM
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reply to post by isyeye
 


very cool! thank you for sharing, i hadnt seen this news story yet!



posted on Feb, 18 2012 @ 06:50 PM
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Makes a great Avatar!






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