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New species of all-female lizard found in…a Vietnamese dish

 

“It may be an old menu standby to Vietnamese diners, but it’s turned into a smorgasbord of discovery for scientists.

Researchers have identified a previously undocumented species of all-female lizard in the Mekong River delta that can reproduce itself by cloning, and the story of how it was discovered is almost as exotic as the animal itself.

Leiolepis ngovantrii is a small lizard found only in southern Vietnam. A Vietnamese reptile scientist who came across tanks full of the remarkably similar looking reptiles at small diners in rural villages in Ba Ria-Vung Tau province became intrigued when he noticed that all of the lizards appeared to be female.

So the scientist, Ngo Van Tri of the Vietnam Academy of Science and Technology, contacted an American colleague about what he was seeing. His friend — a herpetologist at La Sierra University in Riverside, California — immediately dropped everything to come out to assess the find.” – cnn

more here: http://us.cnn.com/2010/LIVING/11/10/lizard.lunch.discovery/index.html?hpt=T2&ref=nf

 


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