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Tiniest Chameleon Found In Madagascar: Brookesia Micra Is Earth’s Smallest Chameleon

Tiniest Chameleon
(Credit: PLoS One)
Tiniest Chameleon
(Credit: PLoS One)

A tiny species of chameleon that are small enough to sit on the top of a match head have been discovered on a tiny island off Madagascar, according to scientists who spoke to The Huffington Post.

Brookesia micra is now the name for the tiniest chameleon ever found. Additionally, scientists have discovered of three other tiny chameleon species.

When measured from nose to tail, adult Brookesia micra of both sexes grow to be only 1 inch, 30 mm, in length. As a result, the species is one of the smallest vertebrates on Earth.

Lead researcher Frank Glaw, a veteran herpetologist and curator at the Museum of Natural History in Munich, said the critters were most active in the ground during the day time and then climb in to the trees to sleep at night.

Glaw added that in order to catch the chameleons they searched for them at night.

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

The group of scientists traveled to the northern region of Madagascar from 2003-2007. When the minute chameleons were discovered Glaw said, “we immediately identified them as new species.” In general, these tiny chameleons are so small that it’s really hard to see the small differences with the naked eye.”

Interestingly enough, a different group of researchers found the world’s smallest frog species in Papua New Guinea. These scientists are claiming that the frogs they found are actually the world’s smallest vertebrate, however, others believe that a specific species of angler fish is truly the world’s the smallest vertebrate, as reported by The Huffington Post.

Glaw is excited to return to Madagascar and is planning on leading another expedition to its northern region in November.

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

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