The smallest reptile in the world found in Madagascar. An international team of scientists has discovered an extremely small new species of the chameleon genus Brookesia, which lives in a mountainous rainforest in northern Madagascar.
The smallest reptile
“The predominantly terrestrial species in the chameleon genus Brookesia is divided into two main lineages, which diverged from each other about 40-50 million years ago,” said Dr. Frank Frank, curator of Heretology at the Bavarian State Collection of Zoology and his colleagues.
“One of these lineages includes large species with snout-to-vent lengths (SVL) of 3.4 to 6.6 centimeters, while the other includes only very short species.” Currently, 12 described species of this clade are known, none of which exceeds 3 cm SVL.
The smallest species being Brucecia mycra, reaching a maximum SVL of 1.99 cm adult females. The newly discovered species called Bruceae nana is smaller than other smaller species in the genus, 1.4 cm SVL in an adult male and 1.9 cm in a female.
At just 1.35 cm in length and a total length of just 2.2 cm, including the tail, the male ‘nanochameleon’ is the youngest known male of all tall vertebrates, Dr. Glew said. Bruxia nana is known only from a degraded montane rain forest in northern Madagascar and may be in danger of extinction.
Newly discovered species
Most of the miniature Brookesia are species of the rainforest, mostly inhabiting the lowlands of forests and rarely more than 1,000 meters above sea level. Other species prefer dry forest, especially in the karst subsoil, the researchers said. Most of the species have very small ranges, only a few species are known from more than two places.
This microcosm may be related to the complex topography of northern Madagascar, where these and other Brookesia species are distributed. The ‘island effect’ that makes species on smaller islands smaller in body size.
Which has been applied to other smaller chameleons, does not make sense in this case, because in the mountains of mainland Madagascar, Brookesia nana Live , said Co. -Author Dr. Phanomezana Ratsovina, a researcher at the Universitat D’Atananarivo.
Unfortunately, the habitat of Bruxia nana is under tremendous pressure from deforestation, but the area has recently been designated as a protected area, and it is hoped that this small new chameleon can survive, said co-author Dr. Oliver Havlitsk said.
Journal of Scientific Reports
Researcher at the Centrum für Naturkunde of the Universität Hamburg. According to the scientists, the maternal male with bruxia they have studied has unusually large hemipenes (chameleon genitalia), clearly making him the smallest mature male ever recorded.
A researcher from the University, Drs. “Madagascar has small primates and some of the smallest frogs in the world, which have evolved independently,” Andaloe Raktaroisan said. But why this species is so small remains a mystery. This discovery is reported in an article in the Journal of Scientific Reports.
‘The smallest reptile in the world’ discovered in Madagascar. Scientists believe they may have discovered the smallest reptile on Earth – a seed-sized subspecies of chameleon. Two small lizards were discovered in Madagascar by a German-Malagasy expedition.
The male Brookesia nana, or nanochameleon, has a body of only 13.5mm. According to the Bavarian State Collection of Zoology in Munich, it is the smallest of the 11,500 known species of reptiles. Its length from top to tail is 22 mm (0.86 inches).
The institute said that the female is about 29 mm larger, despite “great efforts”, other specimens have not yet been located. The Scientific Reports Journal said: “The new chameleon is only known from a degraded montane rain forest in northern Madagascar and may be in danger of extinction.”
It hunts for mites on the jungle
Oliver Havlitschek, a scientist at the Hamburg Center for Natural History, said: “The habitat of the nano-chameleon has been subject to deforestation, but the area has recently been put under conservation so that the species can survive.”
The researchers found that it hunts for mites on the jungle floor and hides in the blades of grass from predators at night. One of the researchers involved in the discovery, Drs. Mark Sharz, in a blog post, called it “a wonderful case of extreme commute to work.”
He said that the forests where Brussetia was located are still well connected with others in the north of the island. So this new little chameleon violates the pattern of smaller species found on small islands. This suggests that some more are allowing these chameleons to shrink, he said.
In their report, the scientists recommended that the chameleon be included on the International Organization for Conservation of Nature’s (IUCN) threat list to create a red list of threatened species to help protect it and its habitat. The smallest reptile in the world discovered in Madagascar.
The newly discovered “nano-chameleon” is small enough to fit comfortably on the tip of a finger. The Madagascar species faces a great threat from deforestation. The smallest reptile in the world found in Madagascar – Researchers have discovered the world’s smallest reptile in Madagascar.
smallest reptile in Madagascar
A team of researchers from Germany and Madagascar has confirmed their discovery of the world’s smallest reptile in Madagascar, the male version of the chameleon is only 13.5 millimeters long (0.53 inches). The organism called Brusacea nana or nano-chameleon is small enough to fit comfortably on a human’s fingers.
Native to the mountains of Madagascar: The chameleon was discovered in the mountains of northern Madagascar during the 2012 expedition, said Frank Glaive, a German veterinarian at the Bavarian State Collection of Zoology in Munich.
They discovered a smaller male and a slightly larger female, and didn’t realize that the reptiles were adults until much later. You really have to kneel to find them, the AP said on Friday. They are clearly camouflaged and move very slowly.
Galav discovered that the female had eggs on her body and the male had very large genitalia, which means that the chameleon was an adult. He said it is not clear why the chameleon is so small. Drought and coronaviruses put Madagascar under severe stress. Deforestation on the island threatens the existence of chameleons.
“The nanochameleon habitat is unfortunately subject to deforestation, but the area was recently under conservation, so this species will survive,” said Oliver Houlwitke, a natural biologist in Hamburg. Deforestation is a major challenge in Madagascar due to the dangers of deforestation and the burning of agriculture and illegal harvesting.
According to a 2019 study published by the Journal Nature Climate Change, if deforestation and climate change accelerate at current rates, many of the eastern Madagascar rainforests could disappear by 2070, endangering many of the region’s unique species.