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New Chameleon Species Emerges From Jungles of Tanzania

First Posted: Jan 28, 2016 01:06 PM EST
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Meet 'Kinyongia msuyae', a new species of chameleon, which was discovered in Tanzania'Kinyongia msuyae' is a brown and green chameleon that has some blues spots. The species was found in four mountainous forest areas in the Udzungwa Mountains and Southern Highlands of Tanzania, according to a news release. The species was named after Charles A. Msuya, a Tanzanian herpetology, who gathered first known specimen relating to this new species.

The researchers of the study claimed that the newly found species is shedding new light on the Makambako Gap region, which is a zoological barrier between diverse species of fauna of the Southern Highlands and Eastern Arc Mountains.

Over the last few years, Tanzania's Southern Highlands have become quite famous for new discoveries of various species. Back in 2003, the Wildlife Conservation Society discovered the 'kipunji,' a primate species that turned out to be a new genus. This discovery was one of the first in Africa since 1923. In addition, WCS had also discovered Matilda's horned viper, new type of snake in 2012.

"Along with our discoveries of the Kipunji, Matilda's horned viper and other reptiles and frogs, this new chameleon really seals the deal as regards the boundary of the Eastern Arcs," Tim Davenport, coauthor of the study, said in a new release. Davenport is also the Director of WCS's Tanzania Program.

"It is very clear now that the so-called Makambako Gap doesn't exist zoologically, and that the Southern Highlands is every bit as biodiverse and endemic-rich as all other Eastern Arc Mountains," Davenport said. "With its own unique fauna and flora the region thus warrants as much protection as we can possibly afford it."

The findings of this study were published in the journal Acta Herpetologica.

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