Share |Image credit: L. Lee Grismer.
I got really curious and could not wait telling you people, when I heard about this news....:)
A new lizard which was unknown to the world of biology till now, is found in Vietnam.
You may thinking how was this lizard found...actually its like story...:)
This lizard is not rare in the region where it is found. Its known as a restaurant food item in that region i.e, southwestern Vietnam.
One day the 'hero' of our story Ngo Van Tri ( the man who found the lizard ) from Vietnam Academy of Science and Technology, had been to a restaurant in Ba Ria-Vung Tau Province. There these lizards were kept alive in a tank. He saw these lizards and to his amazement, he noticed all the individuals looked identical...! He immediately sent some photographs of those to his colleague Grismer and his PhD student son Jesse.
The Grismers identified the lizard as probably belonging to the Leiolepis genus, but in this genus males and females have different coloration, and the photographs showed only males. This made them suspect... that this lizard may belong to a whole new species..!
Filled with excitement Grismers hurried and flew to Ho Chi Minh City. He called the restaurant owner and requested him to keep the lizards alive and not to sell to any body till he reach there.
It took 8 long hours for Grismers to reach the restaurant but that restaurant owner had already sold all the lizards...!!
But the scientists didn't give up. They searched other restaurants and also many school children helped to find the lizards in the wild. Finally they succeeded in finding around 70 lizards and all were females.
The lizard is named as Leiolepis ngovantrii. According to the scientists, Leiolepis ngovantrii may be a hybrid of two related species of maternal and paternal lizards that thrive in the separate habitats.They tested its mitochondrial DNA, and found that the maternal species as L. guttata.
The paternal species is still unknown.
Thus our story behind finding the self cloning lizard comes to an end...:)
Leiolepis ngovantrii is not the only one that reproduces through cloning, since around one percent of lizard species reproduce with no contribution from males, by a process known as parthenogenesis (from the Greek for virgin birth). In this process the ovum contains a full complement of chromosomes and develops into an embryo without being fertilized. Parthenogenesis also occurs, but rarely, in fish and invertebrates, especially insects such as aphids, and has been artificially induced in mice and other species.