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Boa Spotted Eating Endangered Iguana for First Time

For the first time, the Pacific boa has been documented eating the endangered Fiji banded iguana.
For the first time, the Pacific boa has been documented eating the endangered Fiji banded iguana. (Image credit: Robert Fisher et al)

The Pacific boa usually eats skinks and geckos, and other small reptiles on the islands of Fiji where it is found. But it also has a more concerning prey: the endangered Fiji banded iguana, which is much larger than its common prey and — more importantly ­— deemed endangered by the International Union for Conservation of Nature.

A photo taken by Robert Fisher and his colleagues at the U.S. Geological Survey is the first time the boa has been observed eating this iguana, which was only discovered in 2008, according to ABC Science. The iguana is named Brachylophus bulabula, after the Fijian word for "hello" (bulabula).

The iguana's future is somewhat grim. There were once five species of iguanas in this genus (the taxonomic classification above species) on the Fijian islands. Two species have already gone extinct, due to habitat loss and predation from feral cats and mongooses, and another species is critically endangered, ABC Science reports.

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Douglas Main
Douglas Main loves the weird and wonderful world of science, digging into amazing Planet Earth discoveries and wacky animal findings (from marsupials mating themselves to death to zombie worms to tear-drinking butterflies) for Live Science. Follow Doug on Google+.