Thursday, November 11, 2010

Self-Cloning Lizard Discovered On Dinner Plate

A new species of lizard was discovered in Vietnam - after being spotted on a dinner menu.

The previously undiscovered variety of lizard - Leiolepis ngovantrii - appears to be all-female and able to reproduce itself by cloning.
It was found after a Vietnamese reptile scientist came across tanks full of the similar looking reptiles at small diners in rural villages in Ba Ria-Vung Tau province.
Noticing they all appeared to be female, Ngo Van Tri called his friend; Californian herpetologist Dr. Lee Grismer, who immediately flew out to join the researcher.
Ngo organised for a local restaurant owner to set aside some of the creatures for study, but this plan didn't work out.
Grismer explained: "Unfortunately, the owner wound up getting drunk, and grilled them all up for his patrons. So when we got there, there was nothing left."

Luckily, they recruited some local children and other restaurateurs, who soon managed to catch them some 60 of the lizards for study - which was enough for them to conduct research into the species.
Grismer added: "It's an entirely new lineage of life that was being eaten and sold in restaurants for food. But it's something that scientists have missed for hundreds of years."
He also tried eating one, and said it's not likely they'll be making their way to western menus anytime soon.

No comments: