According tomedia CNET, nature is great. But sometimes nature is weird and sad. Researchers at the University of Florida and the Florida Museum have found a lizard with a record-breaking constipation of a living animal in Cocoa Beach. The northern courgette had foraged near the grease bins of a pizzeria.
“A large amount of insects, stools, and greasy sand condense into an impenetrable feces ball, accounting for almost 80 percent of the animal’s overall weight — the largest fecal-to-body weight ratio known to live animals,” the Florida Museum said in a harrowing press release this week. “
At first, scientists thought the lizard was pregnant, but found it wrong and found the gruesome truth through a CT scan. The lizard was then humanely euthanized, and researchers created a 3D model of the body for study. Edward Stanley, of the Florida Museum, said: “I was shocked by the space left in its other organs— if you look at the 3D model, there’s only a small space left on its ribs for the heart, lungs and liver. “
The northern curly-tailed lizard is an invasive species in Florida. It is famous for its non-eating. “They’re like sparrows or seagulls on a frying stand, withno chirping or swooping,” said Natalie Claunch, a doctoral student at the University of Florida who studies invasive species.
Claunch is the lead author of the new study, published in the journal Herpetological Review. The condition of this lizard is both unfortunate and fascinating. “It just shows that you never know what you’re going to find when you’re least expecting it,” says Claunch. “