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Brookesia Micra: the smallest chameleon in the world 23/05/2012 | 17:01:43

Madagascar is home to the smallest chameleon in the world, called Brookesia micra. The animal was discovered two months ago near Cape Ambre on the Nosy Hara archipelago in the northern part of the country. Herpetologists went on site to identify small reptiles that have so far never been identified. During their exploration trip, researchers traveled though the archipelago at night using spotlights and flashlights. The small chameleons are more easily spotted at night as they hang on tree branches to sleep. "We generally found them at 10 centimeters above the ground and since they sleep all night long, you can simply pick them up," said Frank Glaw. So, while the search for small reptiles was an arduous task, researchers’ efforts were paid off with the discovery of the new species of chameleon.

On average, the small chameleon, called by researchers as Brookesia micra, is 30 millimeters long as adults, regardless of sex. According to Frank Glaw, the new species represents the limit of miniaturization possible. Brookesia Micra has a stained brown and gray body color, sometimes with bones or skin outgrowth, hiding their actual shape. The fact that they can remain motionless in a state of mimicry with the area which they are on, including branches, dead leaves on the ground or moss on trunks, makes this small animal very special. Brookesia Micra is one of the fifty species of chameleons listed in the world. And researchers already warned that the new discovered species is extremely in danger of extinction due to habitat loss caused by extensive deforestation in Madagascar.


 

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