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24 New Species Close to Extinction

24 New Species Close to Extinction

There are many species that are listed as endangered, and efforts are being made to conserve them. However, with 24 new species of lizards, known as skinks, recently discovered in the Caribbean, this is not the case. All of the newly discovered lizards are threatened, or close to extinction, and we’ve only just discovered them. We don’t know much about them, except the type of lizards they are, and where they live. In fact, half of the them may already be extinct.

What put all these lizards in peril? During the late 1800s, farmers introduced the invasive predatory mongoose to the islands to kill rats in their sugarcane fields. The rat-killing solution unknowingly wreaked havoc, as the invasive predator destroyed some of the local wildlife (just as the Burmese pythons are doing in Florida today). Another factor contributing to the loss of lizards in the islands is habitat destruction, specifically forests.

Skink

It is the first time in well over 100 years that this number of reptile discoveries have been added to scientific literature at one time.

“Now, one of the smallest groups of lizards in this region of the world has become one of the largest groups. We were completely surprised to find what amounts to a new fauna, with co-occurring species and different ecological types,” said lead researcher and Penn State biology professor Blair Hedges. (Source: Penn State)

One of the unique things about these skinks is that they have a placenta similar to a humans, and gestate their offspring for up to one year.

Image Credit: 1. Karl Questel, 2. Joseph Burgess

Related Links
9 Potentially New Species Discovered
600 News Species Discovered Already Threatened

Read more: Environment, Nature, News & Issues, Wildlife

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44 comments

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7:38PM PDT on Jun 24, 2012

:(

11:01AM PDT on May 17, 2012

These news are both good and awful at the same time. We discover new species, but they're already almost extinct. How sick is that?

10:38AM PDT on May 17, 2012

thanks for sharing :)

10:32PM PDT on May 3, 2012

At the rate we're going, the human race will someday be giving asteroids a run for their money as an extinction causing phenomenon.

7:23PM PDT on May 3, 2012

Nothing lasts forever.. but must we hasten its departure?

6:47PM PDT on May 3, 2012

...and on we march to successfully wiping out more species.

6:06PM PDT on May 3, 2012

Cats are also very predatory on lizards,particuarly skinks which often live close to houses.It's a delicacy to them and they love playing with them before scoffing them.Skinks are able to be tamed and can live for 30 yrs or so depending on locaity.We had some as pets.The fairly large Otago Skink here in N Z is close to extinction.....shame

3:09PM PDT on May 3, 2012

so sad but thanks for sharing

6:39AM PDT on May 3, 2012

thanks for the info

5:28PM PDT on May 2, 2012

I don't think some humans will ever get it. Some look to critters as trophies. Some just don't care. Too bad and sooooooo sad.

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Disclaimer: The views expressed above are solely those of the author and may not reflect those of
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