18 Jun 2008

Cryptic Account of Rare Animal Found in Kurdistan

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The Voice of Iraq could use a better English-language translator and more garrulous journalists.

I think the article below is saying that someone filmed a Komodo dragon-like reptile in western Duhok (in the Kurdish region of Iraq) believed to have been extinct for a 100 years.

A group of persons accidentally found a 100-year-old rare animal, according to deputy rector of Duhuk University for scientific affairs on Tuesday.

“The animal, found accidentally this week in Bajiel region in Aqra district, western Duhuk, is unlike any other animal. It feeds on reptiles and bugs,” Hassan Amin told Aswat al-Iraq – Voices of Iraq – (VOI).

“After watching the short movie made by a group of ordinary persons, we can say that the extinct animal is more than 100 years-old and is related to the Dragon family,” Amin explained.

“We have discussed the issue with two specialized centers in Germany and Britain to know more details about this animal, which was discovered in the country for the first time,” he noted.

Duhuk is located 460 km north of Baghdad.

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UPDATE – 6/18: 5:29 PM EST

A commenter from the UK says he saw it on TV, and thinks that it was an iguana. There is a problem with that identification as iguanas are New World lizards, found only in Central and South America.

The best I can do is suggest that it may have been a Desert Monitor lizard, Varanus griseus. Pictures

But that identification would not justify all the excitement.

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R.T

That animal is not rare!! it does not belong to the dragon family!! I am sorry but they have got it all wrong! I saw it on TV it’s called an ‘Iguana’ it’s a reptile and it’s defenitly not a 100 years old!!!
They have told people all the wrong information.



Stephen Bodio

I’m sure you are right and it is a monitor– iguanids are new world as you say.

There was a flap about a “monster” there last year that turned out to be a honey badger or ratel. And don’t forget the”giant camel spiders”– big solfugids. We have similar if smaller ones in New Mexico.

I’m not sure if it is Iraqi or reportorial ignorance of natural history– or a bit of both.



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