A genetic investigation into the illegal trade of sailfin dragons has unearthed a surprise: a new species of the rainbow-colored lizards that resemble small dinosaurs. The finding highlights just how little is known about these mysterious and threatened animals.
Sailfin lizards (genus Hydrosaurus) look like they were pulled from a child’s coloring book. As the water-loving reptiles mature, their faces, dorsal crests, and saillike tails shift from a drab green and gray to vibrant shades of neon purple, cyan, and harlequin. That’s made them a popular target for an illegal pet trade which—along with destruction of their habitat in the Philippines, eastern Indonesia, and New Guinea—has decimated their numbers. In the wild, only juveniles remain in most populations, says Cameron Siler, the curator of herpetology at the University of Oklahoma, Norman.
A mom in Baldwin, New York RSVP’ed to a small child’s birthday party invitation with a vile anti-gay screed.
Little Sophia turns 7 in a few weeks, so her two dads decided to throw her a party and invite her friends to celebrate. One of those friends is Tommy, whose mom Beth is apparently a rabid homophobe. She returned the invitation with the following response:
"Tommy will NOT attend. I do not beleive [sic] in what you do and will not subject my innocent son to your ‘lifestyle.’ I am sorry Sophia has to grow up this way. If you have an issue or need to speak to me: 516-362-1357.”
Sophia’s dads were understandably furious, so they sent the letter off to local radio station K-98.3, who posted it on Facebook. The station adds that they contacted Beth, who “gave us permission to post her phone number and said anyone who has a problem with what she wrote can call her, too!”