Rare lizards filmed
Renowned naturalist Sir David Attenborough is delighted his latest series has filmed a rare pink iguana for the first time.
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.
Coming in 2013, free
Sir David Attenborough.