Photo credit: Frank Glaw / Scientific Reports 2021 via Gizmodo
Researchers have discovered what could quite possibly be the smallest chameleon in the world, called Brookesia nana, in Madagascar. Despite its size, they were quite easy to find, as the search team went out at night when these tiny creatures are roosting on branches above the forest floor. Why are they so small? Well, some theorize that resource availability could be greater in this area for those with a smaller body size due to competition or natural resource abundance. Read more for another picture.
These chameleons average 13.5mm in length and have only been found in a degraded montane rainforest in northern Madagascar. Unfortunately, they might be threatened by extinction due to deforestation in the area. For now, as long as its predators don’t get smaller, Brookesia nana should be safe.
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There are numerous extremely miniaturized vertebrates in Madagascar, including the smallest primates and some of the smallest frogs in the world, which have evolved independently,” said co-author Andolalao Rakotoarison, a herpetologist at the University of Antananarivo in Madagascar, in the press release.