Sunday, June 24, 2018 | Updated at 8:16 PM ET


Predatory Lizards Or Anolis Porcatus Are Set To Endanger The Normal Fauna Of Brazil

First Posted: Mar 29, 2017 03:16 PM EDT
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Photo : Getty Images/Sam Greenwood

In August 2015, Ricardo Samelo notices a different kind of lizard in a residential area in Brazil. Being a biology student, Samelo's curiosity on the things around urged himself to consult a group of herpetologist to identify the species. The team was lead by Ivan Prates who studies at the City University of New York (CUNY) along with Ana Carolina Carnaval, a professor, and his supervisor.

The lizard was indeed not from Brazil and it is a special kind of species after Prates went to Brazil for a conference and at the same time went to Santos with Samelo. According to reports from Physorg, the species was initially tagged as Anolis Carolinensis, which lives in the Caribbean and in Central and South America but a native of North America. However, as Prates went on a close encounter with the lizard, the species was more like an Anolis porcatus and its predatory presence might endanger the normal habitat of the animals in Brazil.

For herpetologists, the identification of a specific kind Anolis tends to be difficult due to its ability to hybrid during interbreeding. Based on reports from Science Daily, carolinensis species are made into pets in the US and their occurrence in Brazil is possible through their owners. But the porcatus species are exotic, large and can extend up to 15 cm, a characteristic not suitable to be made legally as a pet.

Its predatory nature is also not a good candidate even to their fellow species as it feeds arthropods, small mammals, such as mice, and even on other lizards. The said discovery was published in the South American Journal of Herpetology. The study was supported by FAPESP and the US National Science Foundation (NSF) via the research project "Dimensions US-BIOTA São Paulo: a multidisciplinary framework for biodiversity prediction in the Brazilian Atlantic forest hotspot."

Prates and his group are focusing on the effects of climate change to these species in the past and how it will manage in the future. Their team not only includes herpetologists and biologists, but it needs the expertise of geologists, geographers, climatologists and environmental engineers as well.

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