High above the forest floor on the remote Colombian island of Gorgona lives a lizard with brilliant blue skin, rivaling the color of the sky. Anolis gorgonae, or the blue anole, is a species so elusive and rare, that scientists have been unable to give even an estimate of its population. Due to the lizard’s isolated habitat and reclusive habits, researchers know little about the blue anole, but are captivated by its stunning coloration.
Approximately 35 miles off the Pacific coast of Colombia lies Gorgona, an island with a unique past and an uncertain future. A high security prison colony was maintained on the island beginning in the 1950s until its closure in 1984. Because the island is separated from the mainland by an underwater depression 270 meters deep, Gorgona maintains some endemic biodiversity. In 1985, the island reemerged as a national park to protect the rare species that thrived in the delicate ecosystem.The blue anole is truly stunning to behold–it is pure blue, with no color differentiation between males and females. The largest visual distinction is the male’s dewlap, like other anole species, except in this case the dewlap is bright white, making the blue contrast ever more dramatic. In spite of this striking color, few humans have been lucky enough to spot the world’s only pure blue lizard.
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