Pinocchio Lizard Rediscovered After 50 Years of ‘Extinction’

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Researchers with Tropical Herping spotted the horned anole known as the Pinocchio lizard, which was once thought extinct. (TropicalHerping.com)

The Pinocchio lizard — the anole with the extra-long proboscis — is not extinct after all. It has been rediscovered deep in the cloud forests of Ecuador. Researchers practically fell over it.

A release from Ecuador ecotourism operator Tropic quotes members of a team from Tropical Herping who had been searching for Pinocchio for three years. The Anolis proboscis, as it is properly known, is a “fantastic and mysterious creature,” said Alejandro Arteaga.

His team was searching at night, when the creature — camouflaged by day — can be more easily spotted. Walking along a stream in the Mindo cloud forest after midnight amid rain, tangled vegetation and the sound of croaking frogs, one team member saw the lizard on a branch, “just sleeping, covered in dew,” he said.

¬†“It was very thrilling,” Arteaga told LiveScience.
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