The “Holy Grail” of Lizards: Borneo Earless Monitors Resemble Majestic Dragons

Reptiles are not the favorite species of many people and most people find them frightening, but they are really amazing. There are about 6,000 different species of lizards and because of that they are the most diverse group of species in body, shape and size.

They can be found everywhere in the world in different shapes but there are some rare species that live only in specific geographical areas.

Commonly they are referred as to dragons due to their specific looks having wise eyes and sharp claws.

The “Holy Grail” of Lizards: Borneo Earless Monitors Resemble Majestic Dragons

Borneo Earless Monitor – “The Holy Grail of herpetologists”

This species of lizard is very rare, first discovered in 1877 by scientists who along with the collectors had captured less than a hundred specimens. They are native to Borneo, and are active only at night.

They belong to the family of Lanthanotidae having the scientific name Lanthanotusborneensis meaning “hidden ear from Borneo”. They are called this way as they lack external ear openings, but this does not cause any problem to their hearing ability.

Commonly, they reside in lowland rainforests near rivers, but in terms of population they are really low in number.

They are very rare and poachers have them as targets due to their odd physical appearance. They are favored by collectors in Japan, Ukraine, France, Germany, and the Czech Republic, and pairs can reach the price of €5,000. Hence, the need of having captive breeding programs for this rare species of lizards is very high.

Such programs are already implanted in Europe and last year, The Prague Zoo announced the birth of five earless monitor lizards.

Sources:

wowshack.com

popsci.com

australiangeographic.com.au