A new iguanid lizard (Squamata, Iguanidae) from the late Quaternary of Fiji, Southwest Pacific

Gregory K. Pregill, Trevor H. Worthy

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

21 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Fossils of a spectacularly large (ca. 500 mm SVL) iguanid lizard were found in late Quaternary sediments on Fiji's main island Viti Levu. The lizard is distinct from the living Fiji iguanas, Brachylophus, by the presence of a parietal foramen located in the frontal bone, an anterior inferior alveolar foramen in the splenial, the possession of autotomic fracture planes in the caudal vertebrae, and much larger size. Like Brachylophus, this lizard appears to be basal among Iguanidae, but its relationship is unresolvable with the evidence available. This giant iguana probably became extinct in Fiji soon after the first human colonization about 3000 yr ago.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)57-67
Number of pages11
JournalHerpetologica
Volume59
Issue number1
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 1 Mar 2003
Externally publishedYes

Keywords

  • Brachylophus
  • Fiji
  • Holocene extinction
  • Iguanidae
  • New genus
  • New species

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