Worm Lizard, Unseen for 90 Years, Found by Deminers


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(New Scientist) Scientists have rediscovered a rare subspecies of the Somali sharp-snouted worm lizard (Ancylocranium somalicum parkeri) in Somaliland after nearly nine decades without official sightings. The elusive creature, initially documented by scientists in 1931, was spotted by a landmine clearance team near the Ethiopian border. Mark Spicer of The HALO Trust, a landmine clearance charity, photographed the pink, 20-centimeter-long lizard with a distinctive sharp snout. The image was verified by Tomáš Mazuch at Mendel University in Czechia. The rediscovery highlights the region's biodiversity, showcasing the importance of exploring beyond conflict narratives to document and protect unique species often found during fieldwork in unexpected locations.

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Published: Friday, February 9, 2024

Last Updated: Thursday, February 8, 2024

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