General, Research, Technology

They returned: what do the lizards that they saw only once in history look like?

At the end of the 19th century, Italian explorer ElioModigliani (Elio Modigliani) went to the island of Sumatra. This huge piece of land is considered part of Indonesia and is famous for its dense tropical vegetation, as well as an abundance of wild animals and steaming volcanoes. The researcher collected many species of plants there, caught exotic animals and brought them to Europe for study. Among the animals caught were amazing lizards with something like horns on their nose. The features of these animals were described by scientists only in 1933, on the basis of a copy preserved in the museum. This individual has long been dead and until now, scientists have not been able to detect a single living lizard of this species. But recently they have nevertheless been discovered and thoroughly studied.

Let me introduce - Modigliani lizard (Harpesaurus modiglianii)

Real dragons

New to the scientific world reptiles werecalled lizards Modigliani, but they have a more beautiful name - rhinoceros dragons. In the scientific literature of the XX century, they were described as animals covered with smooth skin, a distinctive feature of which is the "horn" located on the nose of the muzzle. Probably, scientists considered these lizards extinct, because for almost a hundred years they have not been able to meet a single living individual. But nature sometimes presents unexpected surprises to humanity.

Researcher Elio Modigliani and the Lizard He Found

In 2018, researchers discovered in Sumatradead body of a lizard with features characteristic of rhinoceros dragons. They suggested that they again found the lizards considered extinct and organized a completely new expedition to a tropical island. They had a strictly defined goal - to find living individuals of mysterious animals. After all, the body of a dead individual was relatively fresh, which means that they are still alive, just hide well.

The body of a dead lizard that inspired scientists to conduct a new study

A new kind of animal

About another meeting with dragonslizards were recounted in the scientific journal Asian Biodiversity. Researcher Chayrunas Putra (Chairunas Putra) and his colleagues found a living individual lizard Modigliani sleeping on a low branch of a tropical tree. As it turned out, these creatures are able to change the color of their skin - at the sight of people, the discovered individual clearly experienced stress and turned from a bright green animal to brown. Researchers believe that by changing the shade of their skin, they are masked in the surrounding space.

At the sight of the researchers, the bright lizard became dull

Researchers photographed similar todragon creatures from different angles, studied his behavior and released into the wild. At the moment, it’s impossible to say exactly how these creatures hunt and what they eat. This requires additional research, so we all need to hope that scientists will be able to find more living individuals. After all, it would be interesting to observe how they interact in a group and how active they lead a lifestyle.

In Indonesia, "dragons" live and larger - we are talking about Komodo monitor lizards. I talked about their unusual body structure in this material.

At the moment, it can be assumed that lizardsModigliani is very secretive - after all, how else to explain the fact that they are so difficult to detect? Although, it may well be that they are simply well disguised, just like chameleons. Also, based on the results of the second in the history of meeting people with unusual lizards, they do not pose a particular danger to us. After all, think for yourself - at the sight of an unknown creature, a dangerous creature would not try to merge with the outside world. It would attack: it would attack and bite, sprinkle poison or scratch. But the Modigliani lizard did not behave aggressively.

Who is dangerous to humans is poisonous snakes. In addition, they are also considered masters of disguise.

At the moment, scientists already know that the discovery inXIX century "dragons" exist even today. In addition, they know where to look for them - this is also great news. It remains to wait for additional research so that scientists can study the life of reptiles in more detail and tell the world about it. When all this will happen and the results will really be worthy of attention, material on this site will definitely be released.

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In the meantime, I advise you to familiarize yourself with anothermaterial in which I briefly talked about the plant, which since 2009 was considered completely wiped off the face of the Earth. However, scientists again managed to detect it and in this they were helped by an unmanned aerial vehicle with a built-in camera. Want to see what this rare plant looks like? Then read the material!