The French have discovered there is something else besides new species of cheese to be discovered. Some scientists have hatched a new gecko species – Lepidodactylus buleli, from an egg taken from its nest in a South Pacific island, then transported 12,000 miles to Paris in a Kleenex box.
What is remarkable is not just that there is a new species but that the French scientists didn’t kill the thing.
France’s National Museum of Natural History is saying it’s the first time a new lizard species has been cataloged from an individual raised from an egg out of a Kleenex box, to boot. It’s even more remarkable given how the little fellow was found in the first place. There was an expedition in 2006 to Espiritu Santo to study the ecosystems of the forest canopy.
Ivan Ineich, a reptile specialist at the Paris museum, first noticed this little fella when seeing a bloody carcass accidentally hacked in half by a climber: “I said to myself ‘this guy looks bizarre,’ but I couldn’t tell right away it was a new species because it had been so massacred.”
Climbers harvested a plant where female geckos had hidden nine minuscule eggs, they were wrapped in wet Kleenex, packed into a pillbox and carried home to the French capital. There, the eggs were given to a friend who raised lizards as a hobby. Eight of the baby geckos died after temperatures in the terrarium plummeted during a power outage, but the ninth lived.
And, we wonder why some species go extinct.