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Archive for Wednesday, May 30, 2007

New species of limbless lizard found

May 30, 2007

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An Indian zoologist says he found a new species of limbless lizard during a recent field study in a forested area in the country's east.

The 7-inch long lizard, shown above, looks like a scaly, small snake, and "It prefers to live in a cool retreat, soft soil and below stones," said Sushil Kumar Dutta, head of the zoology department of the North Orissa University in the eastern Indian town of Baripada.

"The lizard is new to science and is an important discovery," Dutta told The Associated Press on Monday. "It is not found anywhere else in the world."

Modern limbless lizards are not snakes, Dutta said.

For one thing, snakes have evolved skulls that allow them to swallow whole prey that is much larger than their heads. Lizards, in contrast, have to bite and chew their prey.

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