This fabulous looking creature is not an animated dragon off a fantasy film. These dinosaur-resembling, rainbow-coloured lizards are a new species that were uncovered during a genetic investigation into the illegal trade of sailfin dragons.
Typically found in Philippines, eastern Indonesia and New Guinea, these rare creatures are slowly decreasing in numbers due to the destruction of its habitat. In addition, their vibrant neon purple colour have resulted in an increased smuggling of these animals.
The genetic study revealed that these dragons originating from different countries have different lineages but all originate from the Bicol Peninsula on Luzon Island in the Philippines. Hydrosaurus pustulatus, the native Philippines species, is listed as a vulnerable species by the International Union for Conservation of Nature.
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