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Scientists Identify Lizard Species In Iran-Iraq Mountains


Scientists say they have identified a new species of desert monitor lizard that lives in a small area along the border between Iran and Iraq.

Professor Wolfgang Boehme of the Alexander Koenig Zoologial Research Museum in the German city of Bonn said on April 2 that he was able to describe the species, named Varanus nesterovi, with the help of two of his research students and two Russian colleagues.

The carnivorous saurian, which that can reach 1.2 meters in length, seems to be restricted to the western and southwestern foothills of the Zagros Mountain range.

Boehme said the Russian scientist who originally discovered the lizard in 1914 was unable to describe it due to the confusion in his home country after the 1917 October Revolution.

Boehme said the species could be identified thanks to four examples of the lizard kept by the St. Petersburg Zoological Museum and the Smithsonian Institution in Washington.

Based on reporting by dpa
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