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Earless Monitor Lizard - Lanthanotus borneensis
Topic Started: Feb 14 2013, 09:29 AM (1,366 Views)
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Earless Monitor Lizard - Lanthanotus borneensis

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Scientific classification
Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Chordata
Class: Reptilia
Order: Squamata
Superfamily: Varanoidea
Family: Lanthanotidae
Genus: Lanthanotus
Species: Lanthanotus borneensis

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The earless monitor lizard (Lanthanotus borneensis) is a semi-aquatic, brown lizard native to northern Borneo. It is the only species in the family Lanthanotidae, a group related to the true monitor lizards, as well as to the beaded lizards. Earless monitor lizards are around 20 centimetres in length, and have reduced eyes and limbs, a thick body, and strongly keeled scales. Despite the name, it is capable of hearing, although it lacks a tympanum or other visible signs of ears. It is a burrowing, nocturnal animal, feeding on earthworms and similar prey. In captivity, it has been known to eat squid, pieces of fish and liver. Like its closest relatives, it is oviparous, although little else is known about its reproduction. This species is very rare, and most known specimens are preserved, though these, also, are rare. The species is primarily of interest to scientists, since it is an evolutionary outgroup for both varanid and helodermatid lizards.

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Edited by Taipan, Feb 16 2013, 01:54 PM.
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Aspiring herpetologist
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First record of the Borneo Earless Monitor Lanthanotus borneensis (Steindachner, 1877) (Reptilia: Lanthanotidae) in West Kalimantan (Indonesian Borneo)
"The following paper presents the first published record of the cryptic Borneo Earless Monitor (Lanthanotus borneensis Steindachner, 1877) from West Kalimantan (Indonesian Borneo). This sole member of the family Lanthanotidae is endemic to Borneo. Since its description in 1877, all locality records of specimens refer to Sarawak (Malaysian Borneo). The recent discovery of this “living fossil” in an oil palm estate under development in Landak District expands its known distribution southward to Kalimantan. This paper (i) describes the circumstances of the discovery, characteristics of the individual and microhabitat structure in which it was found, (ii) provides results from local community interviews about the local distribution of the species, suggesting it is found more broadly in the Landak District and possibly elsewhere, and (iii) places this information in a broader context of current knowledge and high conservation value of L. borneensis."
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From here
Do note how the cryptic coloration and rugosed texture of the dorsal scalature helps this animal blend into its environment -- a very interesting animal!
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