These days we often hear of species going extinct, but we almost never hear about something being rediscovered after it was lost for years.
Scientists recently rediscovered a monitor lizard species that was thought to have died out. It was found on the Island of New Ireland in northern Papua New Guinea.
This particular species was lost due to paperwork. It was discovered during the 18th century, but the specimen never reached the museum. The ship carrying it was lost at sea, so everyone sort of forgot about it.
It’s also a story of perseverance, as most of the species on the island died out years ago after humans started appearing on the island.
The lizard was discovered by a team from the Biodiversity Unit of the University of Turku in Finland.
This unique story has some South African ties. A French team originally discovered the Varanus douarrha in 1823, but, as mentioned earlier, the ship carrying the specimen was lost at sea. The ship in question was shipwrecked at the Cape of Good Hope in 1824.