Leaping Legless Lizards!

Legless lizards, Anniella genus.

Four previously unknown species of legless lizard have been described in California, report researchers from the University of California at Berkeley and Cal State-Fullerton.

The species, all members of the Anniella genus, were hiding in plain site, living in marginal habitats that included “a vacant lot in downtown Bakersfield, among oil derricks in the lower San Joaquin Valley, on the margins of the Mojave desert, and at the end of one of the runways at LAX”, according to a statement from UC Berkeley.

“This shows that there is a lot of undocumented biodiversity within California,” Theodore Papenfuss, a herpetologist at UC Berkeley’s Museum of Vertebrate Zoology, said in a statement. Papenfuss described the new species with James Parham of California State University, Fullerton.

“These are animals that have existed in the San Joaquin Valley, separate from any other species, for millions of years, completely unknown,” said Parham. “If you want to preserve biodiversity, it is the really distinct species like these that you want to preserve.”

Read the full story here.

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About jensera

Jennifer Harrington is a Toronto-based illustrator, writer and graphic designer. She illustrated the best-selling children’s book series 'A Moose in a Maple Tree,' which includes the titles 'A Moose in a Maple Tree,' 'The Night Before a Canadian Christmas' and 'Canadian Jingle Bells.' She is also the owner of JSH Graphics, a boutique graphic design agency that specializes in print and web advertising. With her latest project, Eco Books 4 Kids, Jennifer has partnered with illustrator Michael Arnott to create a series of ecologically-themed ebooks for children. Her next book, 'Spirit Bear,' is due for release in the Summer of 2013. Jennifer offers two different school presentations for her 'Moose in a Maple Tree' collection, an illustration demonstration and a Christmas concert series, which can be booked at www.amooseinamapletree.com. She will be taking bookings for school readings of 'Spirit Bear' beginning in October 2013.

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