A mountain lizard in Peru broke the reptilian altitude record

High in the Peruvian Andes, a lizard has claimed the title of world’s highest altitude reptile. The lizard was spotted as high as 5,400 meters in elevation, exposed to frigid temperatures, intense ultraviolet radiation and low oxygen, researchers report February 15 in Herpetozoa.   

In October 2020, zoologist José Cerdeña and colleagues ascended Peru’s Chachani volcano, which rises 6,057 meters above sea level. The team was looking for Liolaemus lizards, also known as tree iguanas, and found them as the researchers climbed above 5,000 meters. 

“We observed something moving between the rocks,” says Cerdeña, of the National University of Saint Augustine in Arequipa, Peru. “At first we thought they were

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