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Rabu, 28 April 2010

Spesies kadal monitor terbaru di temukan di MALUKU

Quote:
spesies baru dari kadal monitor yg merupakan keluarga dekat komodo dilaporkan dalam jurnal Zootaxa oleh profesor dari UC Santa Barbara dan peneliti dari finlandia

Sam Sweet, professor DI department of Ecology, Evolution and Marine Biology at UCSB, dan Valter Weijola, a graduate student at Abo Akademi University in Turku, Finland. adalah yg pertama menjelaskan mengenai kadal tersebut. kadal tersebut hidup di kepulauan Maluku Indonesia Timur.

nama scientific dari kadal ini adalah Varanus obor, nama populernya adalah Torch monitor dan Sago monitor. dinamakan Torch monitor karena kadal tersebut memiliki kepala orange terang dan badan hitam mengkilap. Obor berarti Torch dalam bahasa indonesia. kadal tersebut merupakan kerabat dekat dari kadal monitor pemakan buah yg baru ini dilaporkan terdpat di filipina. torch monitor bisa tumbuh hingga sepanjang 4 kaki, dengan memakan hewan kecil dan bangkai.

torch monitor hanya hidup di pulau kecil bernama Sanana di barat kepulauan Maluku. aspek unik dari wilayah ini adalah kurangnya mamalia predator, sehingga memberikan kesempatan kepada kadal tersebut untuk berkembang menjadi predator yg dominan.

Weijola menemukan kadal ini pada musim semi yg lalu, namun ia kembali bersama sweet pd akhir 2009, selama 5 minggu untuk memfoto dan mempelajari kadal tersebut
Spoiler for artikel aslinya:

ScienceDaily (Apr. 27, 2010) — A newly discovered species of monitor lizard, a close relative of the Komodo dragon, was reported in the journal Zootaxa by a professor at UC Santa Barbara and a researcher from Finland.

Sam Sweet, a professor in the department of Ecology, Evolution and Marine Biology at UCSB, and Valter Weijola, a graduate student at Abo Akademi University in Turku, Finland, are the first to describe the distinctive lizard, which lives in the Moluccan islands of east Indonesia. Sweet is an authority on monitor lizard biology.

The scientific name of this lizard is Varanus obor; its popular names are Torch monitor and Sago monitor. It's called Torch monitor because of its bright orange head with a glossy black body. Obor means torch in Indonesian. It is a close relative of the fruit-eating monitor lizard recently reported from the Philippines. The Torch monitor can grow to nearly four feet in length, and thrives on a diet of small animals and carrion.

The Torch monitor exists only on the small island of Sanana in the western Moluccan islands. A unique aspect of this geographical region is the lack of mammalian predators, which may have given reptiles the space to evolve as the top terrestrial predators and scavengers. Several million years ago, this island was situated near New Guinea, and it is possible that the lizard lives on as a relic from that period. It is the only black monitor in its lineage, and the only monitor species anywhere that has evolved red pigmentation.

Sweet describes an important biological context: "East of Wallace's Line -- the boundary between Asian and Australian domains -- there are no native carnivorous mammals, and monitor lizards fill that role. There are more species there, doing more different things ecologically than in Africa or South and Southeast Asia, where competition and predation by mammals tend to keep monitor lizards down. East of Wallace's Line in Indonesia, New Guinea, and Australia, monitor lizards are on the top of the heap. It emphasizes again how little we know about some tropical regions, to find an animal so strikingly colored and so large only last year."

Weijola discovered the lizard last spring, and returned with Sweet in late 2009 for five weeks to do studies and take photographs of the animal. The Torch monitor is most common in the coastal sago palm swamps and belongs to the mangrove monitor, V. indicus group.


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