World’s Smallest Reptile Is a Chameleon About the Size of a Fingernail

A species of chameleon small enough to easily perch on a match head has been discovered on a tiny island off Madagascar, a group of scientists has announced.

In addition to the discovery of Brookesia micra, now the tiniest chameleon ever discovered, the researchers also announced the discovery of three additional tiny chameleon species.

Adult males of the B. micra species grow to only just over a half-inch (16 millimeters) from nose to bottom, making them one of the smallest vertebrates ever found on Earth.

From nose to tail, adults of both 𝓈ℯ𝓍es grow to only 1 inch (30 mm) in length.

Lead researcher Frank Glaw said the team already had experience finding tiny lizards in Madagascar, “but it was also good luck.”

The team searched for the tiny lizards under the cover of darkness, using headlamps and flashlights to seek out the sleeping chameleons.

All four species are active during the day, and at night climb up into the branches to sleep.

But for such tiny critters, “up into the branches” means a mere 4 inches (10 centimeters) off the ground, Glaw told OurAmazingPlanet, so finding them is no easy task.

However, once spotted, the tiny lizards aren’t tough to catch, Glaw said.

“They are sleeping and you can just pick them up. It’s like picking a strawberry, so it’s easy,” Glaw said. “They do not move at all at night.”

The team of scientists found the tiny reptiles in Madagascar’s wild northern regions during expeditions between 2003 and 2007.

For three of the species, “we immediately identified them as new species,” said Glaw, a veteran herpetologist and curator at the Museum of Natural History in Munich.

“In general, these tiny chameleons are so small that it’s really hard to see the small differences with the nɑƙeɗ eye,” he said.

The researchers warn that at least two of the newly-discovered chameleon species are extremely threatened because of habitat loss and deforestation in Madagascar.

Glaw, who has been going to Madagascar to research its ever-expanding list of amphibians and reptiles for a quarter century, said that B. micra may represent the limit of miniaturization possible for a vertebrate with complex eyes,

but said it’s impossible to know for sure since each time scientists have proclaimed the discovery of the tiniest one yet, another, tinier species appears.

“Maybe there’s a potential for a smaller species,” Glaw said.

Another group of researchers recently announced the discovery of the world’s smallest frog species in Papua New Guinea.

The scientists also declared it the world’s smallest vertebrate, but others contend that a species of angler fish is the smallest vertebrate yet discovered on Earth.

Glaw is planning another expedition to the region of Madagascar in November.

“I’m sure there are many surprises awaiting discovery,” he said.

The research is published in the Feb. 15 issue of the open access journal PLoS ONE.

.

.

.

.

.

.

.

.

.

.

.

Source: https://worldnewsroom.info

Related Posts

A Vietnam Veteran In A Hospice Shed Tears When He Saw His Beloved Dog For The Last Time Just Before His Death.

Former Marine John Vincent, who fought in Vietnam, is 96 years old. The veteran lived alone, did not start a family. All he had was his beloved…

94-year-old Grandfather Ignored His Declining Health Walks Granddaughter Down The Aisle Fulfilling His Final Promise, Dιeѕ Two Days Later

    A grandfather ignored his declining health and ailments to fulfill his promise to his granddaughter. Being a veteran who had served his country with unwavering…

Google Fired Exec For Not Being ‘Inclusive’ By Favoring High Performers, Lawsuit Alleges

In his spare time, the fired exec runs an ice cream shop dedicated to helping those with Down syndrome. Ryan Olohan / Facebook A former high-ranking Google executive, who…

Growing Succulents – A Quick And Easy How-To Guide

Planting a succulent garden is a fun and easy activity, and I will share some ideas on how to start growing succulents in your own garden. As…

Mother Of Tyre Nichols: ‘I Hate The Fact That It Was Five Black Men That Actually Did This’

Police Officers Found A 92-year-old World War II Veteran Using A Gas Stove To Heat His House, And Sought Help To Donate A Heater.

Desperate times call for desperate measures, especially when it comes to staying warm during the cold winter months. Louis C. Hicks, a 92-year-old WWII veteran, heated his…