The remains of a giant lizard found in the
Benahoarita Archaeological Museum (MAB) of the Cabildo de La Palma will be part of a book
on reptiles in the Canary Islands. Last week the
Swiss researcher Alexandre Mamin (Bio-medical Technician), delegate of
the Reptiles-Reptilien Association, visited this space to take photographs of the
skeletal remains of various specimens of the aforementioned giant lizard. Mamin is
working on the preparation of the book Lizards of the Canary Islands,
for which he has visited the entire Archipelago.
The photographed materials come from different
archaeological-paleontological sites on La Palma and were recovered in areas
of Barranco de Garome (Puntagorda), Barranco de Los Gomeros (Tijarafe),
Barranco del Agua (Puntallana) and Barranco de Las Angustias (Los Llanos
de Aridane) . ).
The Councilor for Culture and Heritage of the Cabildo de La Palma, Jovita
Monterrey, highlights “the importance of this type of collaboration between
different institutions and researchers to make known
vestiges of great interest but which are unknown to the general public.
To all this we must add that this type of publication will contribute to
disseminate, internationally, some materials that come from
animals of great antiquity that came to live with the first
Benahoarites who arrived on the Island about 2,000 years ago.
Jorge Pais Pais, director of the MAB, highlights that the
Benahoarita Archaeological Museum preserves a large number of skeletal remains of these
gigantic lizards, now extinct, which could measure 150
centimeters. The vast majority of the materials come from
natural habitation caves that were occupied by the ancient inhabitants
of the island. Unfortunately, these are vestiges out of context
that have been collected by plunderers or from
casual finds without the meticulousness and professionalism that this type
of action requires.
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Jorge Pais points out that La Palma has an important
paleontological heritage that is just beginning to be known, although there
are more and more sites with bone remains of this type.
In the permanent settlement of Roque de Los Guerra (Villa de Mazo),
made up of caves and cabins, petroglyphs and small troughs-cazoletas, it has been
demonstrated, archaeologically speaking, the coexistence between this type
of lizards and the first Benahoarites who settled in this area. part
of the island, as was verified during the excavations in 1994. The
remains of these animals, shortly after the human occupation of
the area, disappeared from the stratigraphy, possibly because they were
hunted and consumed until their extinction.