• Cape Melville where the species was discovered. Photo credit: James Cook UniversityCape Melville where the species was discovered. Photo credit: James Cook University

JCU researcher discovers new species in Australia’s ‘lost world’

A James Cook University researcher has discovered two new species of lizard that have been hidden from humans for millions of years. Dr Conrad Hoskin discovered the lizards in a remote area of Cape York Peninsula in far north Queensland.

The exact area where the lizards were found is in a rainforest plateau on top of the Cape Melville Range, a virtual mountain fortress cut off from the surrounding area by piles of huge granite boulders. This is not the first time that new species have been discovered in this area; last year a leaf-tailed gecko, a boulder frog and a golden lizard where found, prompting international headlines describing Australia as being host to a ‘lost world’ of animals isolated by a freak of geography.

Dr Hoskin said: “The Melville Range has been sitting there completely isolated from other rainforest areas for millions of years. It’s truly remarkable. It probably has more unique animal species per unit area than anywhere else in Australia.”

You can read more about this discovery here.  Find out more about James Cook University here.

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