Monday, November 15, 2010
Discoveries of new species are made in many ways: in the field, among hunters' trophies, in museums. Charles Darwin once shot a bird and ate most of it before it dawned on him he didn't recognize its species. A weasel once dropped a new South American rodent at Dr. Louise Emmons' feet. Kathryn Fuller of the World Wildlife Fund once discovered a new species of any when it walked out of a potted plant on her desk and asked visiting entomologist E.O. Wilson to take a look. The latest fluke discovery comes from a Vietnamese restaurant, where a lizard that was well known locally but unknown to science was being served up as a blue plate special.