Zoology

An Introduction to the Worlds Smallest Reptile



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Have you ever wondered what the smallest reptile in the world is? There is a creature that is very small in size, scientists have been doing research on the reptile since the time they came across the smallest reptile in the world. The Jaragua Sphaero is one of the worlds most smallest lizard. The Jaragua was discovered on a Caribbean island off the coast of the Dominican Republic, in 2001.

The adult sized Jaragua Sphaero can fit comfortably on a US quarter. It is also known as the Dwarf Gecko, and measures 0.6 inches long. Blair Hedges and University of Puerto Rico biologist, Richard Thomas discovered the lizard. The finding of the lizard was a major news story at the time. It just goes to prove that there are still reptiles on this earth that may not have been found yet. The scientific name for this lizard is Sphaerodactylus ariasae.

The two men found small groups of these lizards on Beata Island. The lizard lives in a mostly dry area, with some surrounding moist leafs around its living environment. The lizards needs a certain amount of moistness in the area in which they live, or they could become dehydrated, and this could prove fatal for the Jaragua Sphaero. The destruction and changes in their environment are making it difficult for the lizard to survive.

The Jaragua Sphaero (Sphaerodactylus ariasae) is named after Yvonne Arias, who is the leader of the Dominican conservation organization Grupo Jaragua. The group was formed in order to protect and conserve Jaragua National Park. Today, with the help of Yvonne Arias the people of the island are doing their best to try and preserve the land. It is common that larger and smaller species are found on island's as they have fewer dangers to deal with. The Caribbean is one of the few places on earth that has a great number of unusual and uncommon species of animals and lizards. The land is becoming over populated and this threatens the various species on the island. Thomas and Hedges have discovere over 50 new species of amphibians and reptiles on the island.

Before this lizard was discovered, the Sphaerodactylus parthenopion found on the island of Virgin Gorda, in the British Virgin island's was the smallest species of lizard. This lizard is 3 or 4 inches long from nose to the tip of the tail. There is very little information regarding this reptile as it is difficult to keep in captivity. It eats flies, and small insects, it does not breed well when out of it's home environment. It has to live in damp conditions, with plenty of drinking water available, as it is easily affected by dehydration.

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