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Bachia oxyrhina

This is not a snake

: Morro do Fumo: region where the legless lizard was discovered

Luciano Candisani Morro do Fumo: region where the legless lizard was discoveredLuciano Candisani

Anyone who sees the yellowish reptile slithering its way along the trails of the Cerrado [scrubland/savannah] may fear they are about to be bitten by a snake. But they should not worry: it is not poisonous, neither is it a snake. Despite being long and with no visible legs Bachia oxyrhina is a lizard. The species was discovered in January this year at the Serra Geral do Tocantins Ecological Station on an expedition coordinated by Cristiano Nogueira, from NGO Conservação Internacional do Brasil. The lizard leaves a winding track when it slithers across the surface of the soil but really prefers to bury itself with the help of its flattened snout – in Greek its name means “wedge-shaped nose”. Headed up by zoologist, Miguel Trefaut Rodrigues, from the University of São Paulo, who is a reptile specialist, the animal’s description was published in September in the journal, Zootaxa. For Rodrigues the discovery is yet another indication of the biological wealth that has yet to be discovered in the Cerrado. This is the third legless lizard species of the Bachia genus from the Tocantins Cerrado that he has described since 2007.