Once ‘Extinct’ Pinocchio Lizard Pokes His Nose Out
This ain’t no lie: The Pinocchio lizard was thought to be extinct for 50 years, but has been rediscovered in the cloud forests of Ecuador.
After searching for the long-nosed animal for three years, a team of photographers and researchers found the lizard recently in a stretch of pristine cloud forest in the northwest part of the country, said Alejandro Arteaga, a co-founder of the educational and ecotourism company Tropical Herping, which conducted the search for the lizard.
Also called the Pinocchio anole (an anole is a type of lizard), the animal is named after a certain dishonest wooden puppet and was first discovered in 1953, Arteaga said. But wasn’t seen between the 1960s and 2005, when an ornithologist saw one crossing a road in the same remote area in northwest Ecuador. This is only the third time scientists have spotted it since 2005, Arteaga added. [Album: Bizarre Frogs, Lizards and Salamanders]