Monday, August 16, 2010

BITATAWA: Meet Our New Dragon

In 05 April 2010, Biology Letters officially published online the discovery of a new giant lizard specie discovered in the Philippines. Now if you can remember, this is not the first dragon here but the second. And it is found on the main island of Luzon as opposed to the Butaan; only found on an isolated island of Polilio.

The very first sighting of it by science was in 2001. When scientists met hunters carrying it -- it was for dinner, so they just took a photo and let the hunters go. The Agta and Ilongot people of the Sierra Madre forests consider it as a delicacy. Yum!

Thanks to SMS (Texting, as it is famously called), the lizard was finally recorded by science. Scientist received a text message from biology students about its sighting. How is it different? Mainly its yellow markings. It is also a fruitarian like the Butaan.

Its fancy name is Varanus bitatawa. I dunno how it is called locally.
Any inputs from our Filipino friends?


Photo courtesy of WiredNews


eyron said...

they called it butikaw in aurora province and also bitatawa from the agta people.

read the whole story from

Pisanu for BISEAN said...

Thanks, Eyron!!!!

Matthew Andrew said...

it's "bayawak" in Filipino.
glad bisean is back! =]

eyron said...

@mattew andrew
no, its not bayawak. bayawak is a common term of the tagalog for monitor lizard.

Miz_AJ said...

It's so sad how the very many rare and diverse species found in the Philippines are mostly just sold for a few pesos due to poverty. If only the residents of the places where they can be found can be taught a way to help conserve but at the same time still be able to make a living - that would be "heaven."

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