Journal: 24 new lizard species found in Caribbean - WAOW - Newsline 9, Wausau News, Weather, Sports

Journal: 24 new lizard species found in Caribbean

SAN JUAN, Puerto Rico (AP) -- U.S. scientists say they have identified 24 new species of lizards in the Caribbean.

Penn State University professor Blair Hedges says about half of the new species identified by his research team are nearing extinction. He says the other half already are extinct and had been misclassified by several museums in the U.S. and Europe.

Hedges says the lizards are among the few that have up to a one-year gestation period and produce a human-like placenta. He said Tuesday that the new species were identified through various means, including comparing DNA and counting and analyzing their scales.

The findings of the roughly five-year study were published this week in Zootaxa, a peer-review journal for animal taxonomists.

(Copyright 2012 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)

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