Scientists say they have discovered a new species of lizard in Peru’s remote Manu National Park, considered one of the most biologically diverse spots on Earth, RPP Noticias reported.
The lizard species, which has been called Potamites erythrocularis, was found in the forests of the Kosñipata Valley, which is in Peru’s Cusco region and has an elevation of between 1,000 meters and 2,100 meters. The park straddles the Madre de Dios and Cusco regions.
According to Sernanp, the state agency in charge of protecting Peru’s national parks, the lizard is distinguished by the irregular scales on its back, while the males have a red ring around their eyes and the females are noted for lacking femoral pores.
Sernanp said the lizard is able to adapt to relatively low and high temperatures, while it is also active both during the day and at night during the November to April rainy season, while during the dry season it is mainly active only at night.
Manu is a UNESCO World Heritage Site. The park covers 1.5 million hectares (3.7 million acres) with a range of altitudes from 150 meters to 4,200 meters above sea level. The park includes lush low-level rainforest that is part of the Amazon basin, which becomes cloud rainforest as it climbs the Eastern slopes of the Andean mountain range.
The park is home to native groups that live in voluntary isolation, more than 1,100 plant species that have been identified, 800 bird species and 200 species of mammals.
“The biological diversity found in Manu National Park exceeds that of any other place on Earth,” UNESCO says.