Rare lizards filmed

Renowned nat­u­ral­ist Sir David At­ten­bor­ough is de­lighted his lat­est se­ries has filmed a rare pink iguana for the first time.

The Gold Coast Bulletin - Play Magazine - - TELEVISION -

ATURALIST Sir David At­ten­bor­ough is to re­veal the first filmed sight­ing of a rare rep­tile from his beloved Gala­pa­gos Is­lands in a new TV se­ries.

The veteran broad­caster caught the pink iguana on film while he worked on his new se­ries, Gala­pa­gos 3D, and it will be the first time the crea­ture has been seen on screen.

The species was dis­cov­ered in re­cent years, and Sir David said it was a priv­i­lege to spot the ‘‘Penny Black’’ of the nat­u­ral world.

He filmed on the is­land of Is­abela in June last year and his team was led by Dr Gabriele Gentile from Rome’s Univer­sity Tor Ver­gata as they sought the Conolo­phus Marthae iguana, noted for its pink com­plex­ion.

‘‘It’s a re­mark­able thing in this day and age when you think about the num­ber of sci­en­tists per square me­tre in the Gala­pa­gos, and yet sud­denly we have dis­cov­ered a new species,’’ says At­ten­bor­ough.

‘‘A lit­tle peri­win­kle or some­thing which no­body has iden­ti­fied be­fore, is one thing, but this is more than that, it’s a large pink iguana.

‘‘I used to col­lect stamps – this was a Penny Black of the nat­u­ral world in a big way.’’

The iguana lives in bur­rows on the crater rim of the Wolf Vol­cano. The rea­son for its colour­ing is not known but it is thought to be re­lated to a more com­mon yel­low land iguana. ‘‘It was a priv­i­lege to see it,’’ says At­ten­bor­ough, who first vis­ited the Gala­pa­gos in 1978 while work­ing on his ground­break­ing Life On Earth se­ries.

Ex­ec­u­tive pro­ducer An­thony Gef­fen says: ‘‘When he fi­nally came face-to-face with the iguana, it was just one of the most ex­tra­or­di­nary mo­ments that I’ve ever ex­pe­ri­enced: here was the world’s great­est nat­u­ral­ist coming face-to-face with a new species.’’

Also dur­ing the se­ries, the team be­came the last to film the last of a species of gi­ant tor­toise from the is­land of Pinta.

The crea­ture, known as Lone­some Ge­orge, died just 10 days af­ter film­ing and the species is now be­lieved ex­tinct.

The new iguana will fea­ture in the third episode of Gala­pa­gos 3D with David At­ten­bor­ough. The se­ries be­gan in the UK this week.

and pay.

Coming in 2013, free

Sir David At­ten­bor­ough.

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