Universiti Brunei Darussalam (UBD) field assistants recently made an unexpected ‘living fossil’ discovery in Temburong, dubbed the ‘Green Jewel of Brunei’.
The Borneo Earless Monitor (Lanthanotus borneensis) is a rare Bornean endemic lizard, the only known species in the family Lanthanoidae, an ancient lineage of lizards.
This is the first time the lizard has been discovered in the Sultanate. The rare discovery was made by Justin Jeffrey and Jerry Wong, who braved a heavy thunderstorm in search of reptiles on October 4 evening.
The pair chanced upon the earless monitor lizard in a primary forest in Ulu Temburong, clinging to a tree root near a torrential stream.
Realising the significance of the discovery, Jeffrey said, “Rough skinned, prehensile tail – this must be – no cannot be – it is!”
More details on Sunday’s Borneo Bulletin