New species: Galapagos rosy iguana

galapagos-rosy-iguana-lizard-sprawl

Galapagos Pink IguanaThe rangers for the Galápagos National Park have been noticing a pinkish iguana on the island of Isabela, around the Wolf Volcano, since the mid-80s. They didn’t attach much importance to it. Perhaps it was a regular-coloured lizard stained by dust or plant material. But eventually in 2001, researchers from the University of Rome Tor Vergata and Galápagos National Park came and took samples from 36 of the animals—all they could find. Genetic material shows that this is a separate species from the other land iguanas.

By the way, it’s an area that Charles Darwin didn’t visit on his famous voyage in 1835.

Greg Laden explains that the new Galápagos iguana is likely closely related to the basal ancestor from which the other two species developed.

On the right, Gabriele Gentile, an Italian researcher, holds one of the newly recognized iguanas.

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