"Extinct" Pinocchio lizard spotted again in Ecuador's cloud forests

pinocchio lizard screen shot
Video screen capture Tropical Herping

Good news sometimes comes to those who never give up the search. This happened for researchers still on the lookout for a lizard thought to be extinct after the 1960s, until one was spotted again in 2005. After that sighting confirming it was still around, some lizard-loving researchers became dedicated to finding it again.

"After searching for the long-nosed animal for three years, a team of photographers and researchers found the lizard recently in a stretch of pristine cloud forest in the northwest part of the country, said Alejandro Arteaga, a co-founder of the educational and ecotourism company Tropical Herping, which conducted the search for the lizard," reports LiveScience.

The Pinocchio lizard is a curious looking specimen, though one can see how it got its name. Not a lot is known about it since, despite having one of the smallest range of any known lizard in the world, this is only the third time it has been seen since 2005. But researchers do know that that big nose, found on male lizards, has no purpose other than showing off for the ladies.

This was the last lizard the team needed to complete their book, "The Amphibians and Reptiles of Mindo" which was published this last summer.

The sighting is yet another reminder why every small stretch of wild space is so very important -- you never know what tiny miracles can still be found there.

"Extinct" Pinocchio lizard spotted again in Ecuador's cloud forests
Thought to be exinct for at least 50 years, it turns out this unusual and beautiful lizard is still alive in a stretch of still-pristine cloud forest.

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