Photo via News.au
Biologists have just made one of the most stunning animal discoveries of the year--it's a cousin of the komodo dragon uncovered on an island in the Philippines. Scientists have dubbed the species of monitor lizard, which measures over six feet in length, the Varanus bitatawa. More on the giant lizard that biologists are calling 'spectacular' after the jump. And yes, we'll get to the whole dual-penis thing.The AFP reports that the lizard is brightly colored, is not a carnivore (unlike its relative the komodo dragon), and has been habitually hunted by the local populace for food. Combined with ongoing habitat loss from development on the island, the lizard is almost certain to be classified as critically endangered.
What's most amazing about this discovery (besides the fact that the lizard has two members, of course) is that it took place right smack dab in the middle of a highly populated area. According to the AFP, "One reason that the new lizard has gone undetected, the researchers speculate, is that it never leaves the forests of its native Sierra Madre mountains to traverse open spaces."
And okay, okay, I'm getting to it--I know you've read this far just to hear about the dual penises. Well, here's the lowdown, according to AFP: "Males have a double penis, called hemipenes, also found in some snakes and other lizards. The two penises are often used in alternation, and sometimes contain spines or hooks that serve to anchor the male within the female during intercourse."
More on Incredible Animal Discoveries
Bizarre Tongue - Eating Parasite Discovered Off the Jersey Coast
Cthulhu's Pet? Giant Isopod (2.5 Feet!) Found Attached To ...
Crabzilla! At 5 Feet Tall, Biggest Known Crab Heads to UK