Four new species of legless lizards have been found in the unexpected locations of California.
The scientists of California have found four species of eight-inch-long, snake-like lizards that have not been seen until now because they spend most of their lives underground, where they eat insects and larvae.
The new species of lizards have been found in such places as a vacant lot in Bakersfield, in oil derricks in San Joaquin Valley, on the edge the Mojave desert, and at the end of one of the runways at Los Angeles International Airport, a statement from the University of California Berkeley said.
“This shows that there is a lot of undocumented biodiversity within California,” said Theodore Papenfuss, a reptile and amphibian expert with UC Berkeley’s Museum of Vertebrate Zoology, according to redOrbit. Papenfuss found and identified the new species along with James Parham of California State University, Fullerton.
“These are animals that have existed in the San Joaquin Valley, separate from any other species, for millions of years, completely unknown,” Parham said, in a report by Discovery.
There are more than 200 different species of legless lizards worldwide and they are well adapted to living in the soil, according to Papenfuss. Lizards on five different continents evolved into limbless reptiles millions of years ago in order to become better at burrowing.