‘Little dragon’ found on uninhabited Australian island is a new species. Take a look
Aspen Pflughoeft / Fri, March 3, 2023 at 2:04 PM PST
Landing on the sandy beach, a team of researchers headed into the rainforest of an uninhabited island off the coast of Australia. Scouring the rocky terrain, they soon discovered an unfamiliar creature.
Conrad Hoskin led the reptile survey to Scawfell Island
, a rugged island with a rainforest canopy and numerous boulders, James Cook University said in a Friday, March 3, news release. He set out with a goal in mind.
“I went to that island in the hopes of finding some interesting reptile species
,” Hoskin told the Australian Broadcasting Corporation (ABC). “One thing I really hoped for was that there could be one of these incredible leaf-tailed geckos.”
are a type of lizard found along the east coast of Australia, Hoskin wrote in a study published Feb. 20 in the journal Zootaxa.
As night fell on Scawfall Island, Hoskin spotted something. “It looks like a little dragon
or something,” Hoskin told The Guardian.
The creature had “spindly legs” and a “spiny tail,” the release said. Hoskin quickly realized he was looking at a previously undiscovered species.
He identified the new species as the Scawfell Island leaf-tailed gecko, or phyllurus fimbriatus, the study said. The gecko’s scientific name, fimbriatus, is Latin for “fringed” and refers to the texture of its tail.........................
The gecko is “perfectly camouflaged” for its environment, the release said. Photos show its brown body and blotched coloring blending into the rocks.