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Carel Brest van KempenCarel Pieter Brest van Kempen   SAA, AFC Carel Brest van Kempen
Wildlife Paintings
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GIANT GOMERAN LIZARD -  by Carel Brest van Kempen
Dimensions (inches): 20 x 15
Medium: acrylic
Description: In June of 1999 a party of biologists in the Canary Islands captured a large lizard of the genus Gallotia. This genus is endemic to the archipelago, and is closely related to the well-known European wall lizards of the genera Lacerta and Podarcis. Like those mainland reptiles, species of Gallotia are generally rather small, but this Giant from the western island of Gomera can reach two feet in length. Known previously from subfossils on the island, the species, G. bravoana was thought to have gone extinct in recent history. Now considered Europe's rarest reptile, a conservation and captive breeding program have been put into effect. This painting was executed specifically as a fund-raiser for the program. The rocky bluff depicted is typical of the habitat of these lizards on Gomera. Such habitat is likely not their preference, but the only part of the island where they are not vulnerable to feral cats. The plant in the foreground is a Balo (Plocama pendula), an important component of the Gomeran Giant Lizard's diet.
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