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Meet World’s Smallest Chamaleon (Brookesia et al.)

February 18, 2012

In a  recent discovery, researchers from Germany and USA have found world’s smallest and cutest species of  chameleon. These species also rank among world’s smallest reptile. These chameleons belong to group Brookesia minima and are found mostly in northern Madagascar region.  Four newly discovered species have been named Brookesia micra, Brookesia tristis, Brookesia conifdens, Brookesia desperata. The maximum length of newly discovered species ranges between 22-48 mm. Brookesia micra, shown above, is the smallest of the group (maximum size 30 mm). These miniscule leaf chameleons have all the features and properties as you can find in any regular size chameleon- can rotate their eyes  independent of each other, can camouflage when in danger or looking for food, can grab things using their tail and have projectile tongue to capture their prey. As mentioned earlier, the habitat region of these species is very small. All of them are found in a very small region of Madagascar and if this habitat is destroyed, we will lose this species forever. Lead researcher, Glaw, named the species keeping this issue in mind. For eg. the word tristis in Latin means sad, sorrowful which reflects the sad situation of massive deforestation of this region even after the region have been declared a nature preserve. Name desperata also reflects the sad situation of deforestation of the area where Brookesia desperata is found. These names might be world’s most sad names ever given but it also reflects the sad state of affairs of species preservation all around the world. Luckily,  Brookesia confidens is found in the area where limestone formations have made the area very hard to access by the humans and therefore there is a hope that this species might be protected just due to natural protection.

Reference article and Image Source: Rivaling the World’s Smallest Reptiles: Discovery of Miniaturized and Microendemic New Species of Leaf Chameleons (Brookesia) from Northern Madagascar| Glaw et al. |PLoS ONE |February 2012 | Volume 7 | Issue 2 | e31314

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1 Comment Leave a Comment

  • 1. Science Is Beautiful &raq&hellip  |  February 18, 2012 at 7:43 pm

    […] my last post, I talked about world’s smallest and  cutest chameleon. Now it’s time to watch some cute animated chameleon in this issue of weekend […]

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