Unusually large, alligator-like new species found in Mexico

News Excerpt: 

Scientists found a big scaly animal, like an alligator, in the treetops of southern Mexico. It's a new species that stays hidden by blending into the leaves.

About the Coapilla arboreal alligator lizards

  • Arboreal alligator lizards, known as Coapilla, can reach a length of around 9.8 inches. 
  • They have a scaly body that is yellow-brown with darker brown spots. 
  • Their eyes are light yellow with dark specks, as mentioned in the study.
  • These lizards live high up in the trees, specifically in the forest canopy, ranging from 11 to 64 feet above the ground. 
  • They tend to be active in the morning or afternoon.
  • Coapilla arboreal alligator lizards might become inactive for some part of the year. 
  • These "mysterious" lizards have gone unnoticed for so long due to their "cryptic behavior" and limited distribution area. 

The discovery locations: 

  • The research team has found the Coapilla arboreal alligator lizards only in Coapilla, a town in the southern state of Chiapas, about 700 kilometers southeast of Mexico City. They have not revealed the exact location of the new species to protect them.
  • Scientists found another group of alligator lizards exclusive to Central America, inhabiting "humid highland forests.

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