Did you know that the lizards in the Western Ghats mountain region of India do their own stunts?  The Western Ghats are called a biodiversity hotspot for species of lizards and amphibians because there are so many endemic species there, meaning species found there and nowhere else.

Scientists recently described 12 new species of geckos from the Western Ghats. They named one of the species after Jackie Chan, the movie star famous for his dazzling martial artistry and stunts.  

Jackie Chan. U.S. Navy photo by Photographer’s Mate 3rd Class Lee M. McCaskill, Public domain, via Wikimedia Commons

Saunak Pal, a scientist at the Bombay Natural History Society who helped describe the new gecko species explains why they named a species after Jackie Chan: “The new species was found to be very fast and moved rapidly on rocks and boulders, sneaking into the smallest crevices to escape when approached, reminiscent of the stunts of Jackie Chan.”

Meet the Jackie Chan gecko:

Jackie’s day gecko, Cnemaspis jackieii, named after famed film star and martial artist Jackie Chan. Image by Saunak Pal.

Here are the 12 newly described geckos:

All 12 of the new gecko species. A: Cnemaspis balerion; B: Cnemaspis lithophilis; C: Cnemaspis rubraoculus; D: Cnemaspis nimbus; E: Cnemaspis wallaceii; F: Cnemaspis smaug; G: Cnemaspis regalis; H: Cnemaspis galaxia; I: Cnemaspis nigriventris; J: Cnemaspis flavigularis; K: Cnemaspis palanica; L: Cnemaspis jackieii. Images courtesy of Pal et al. (2021)

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