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New iguana species found in China
Scientists were researching the Calotes versicolor (above) when they discovered the new species.
Wang’s garden lizard has a distinctive orange tongue.

A new iguana species has been discovered in China, by a research team investigating a different species.

The iguana, now known as Wang’s garden lizard (Calotes wangi), is less than 9cm long and has a distinctive orange tongue.

The research team, from Guangxi University of Chinese Medicine, had been conducting field surveys in South China when they found the new iguana. However, samples they had been collecting of the oriental garden lizard (Calotes versicolor) were later discovered to be part of a new, undescribed species and two subspecies.

Analysis revealed the species was formed as a monophyletic group, and displayed considerable genetic divergence between organisms of the same genus.

Calotes wangi
can be found in the subtropical, broad-leaved forests and the tropical monsoon forests of southern China and northern Vietnam. They were mostly in mountainous areas, hills and plains on forest edges, shrub lands, arable lands and urban green belts.

The species is active from April to October each year, but can remain active from March to November, or longer, in tropical regions. It eats a variety of insects, spiders and other arthropods.

While the new species is not considered to be threatened, there were some areas of its habitat which were fragmented and their bodies are used medicinally.

The researchers have suggested that local governments work to strengthen protection of the iguana’s ecological environment, and pay closer attention to its population dynamics.

Yong Huang, whose team described the species, said: “It is active at the edge of the forest, and when it is in danger, it rushes into bushes or climbs tree trunks to hide.

“Investigations found that the lizards lie on sloping shrub branches at night, sleeping close to the branches.”

The full study can be found in the journal ZooKeys.

Image © Shutterstock

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Bristol uni celebrates 75 years of teaching vets

News Story 1
 The University of Bristol's veterinary school is celebrating 75 years of educating veterinary students.

Since the first group of students were admitted in October 1949, the school has seen more than 5,000 veterinary students graduate.

Professor Jeremy Tavare, pro vice-chancellor and executive dean for the Faculty of Health and Life Sciences, said: "I'm delighted to be celebrating Bristol Veterinary School's 75 years.

"Its excellence in teaching and research has resulted in greater understanding and some real-world changes benefiting the health and welfare of both animals and humans, which is testament to the school's remarkable staff, students and graduates." 

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News Shorts
RCVS HQ to temporarily relocate

The headquarters of the Royal College of Veterinary Surgeons (RCVS) is to move temporarily, ahead of its permanent relocation later in the year.

From Monday, 26 February 2024, RCVS' temporary headquarters will be at 2 Waterhouse Square, Holborn, London. This is within walking distance of its current rented offices at The Cursitor, Chancery Lane.

RCVS have been based at The Cursitor since February 2022, following the sale of its Westminster premises the previous March.

However, unforeseen circumstances relating to workspace rental company WeWork filing for bankruptcy means The Cursitor will no longer operate as a WeWork space. The new temporary location is still owned by WeWork.

RCVS anticipates that it will move into its permanent location at Hardwick Street, Clerkenwell, later on in the year.