brookesia-micra

Newly Discovered Miniature Leaf Chameleon

Rivaling the world’s smallest reptiles, scientists have recently discovered a new species of miniature chameleon in Northern Madagascar. In fact, the new species is so small, it can fit on the head of a match. The dwarf chameleon (Brookesia micra), represents a striking case of miniaturization. Reaching only 30 mm in length when fully grown, it ranks among the smallest amniote vertebrates in the world (amniotes include reptiles, birds, and mammals).

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Brookesia micra

…is a extremely small species of chameleon native to the islet of Nosy Hara in Northern Madagascar. B. micra is one of the smallest known reptiles as adults only grow to around 29 mm (1.1 in) that’s small enough to stand on a match head!  It is thought that B.micra’s unusual size is linked to its habitats, via insular dwarfism but that has not yet been confirmed. B. micra is primarily diurnal and hunts in the leaf litter for insects and other small invertebrates. Like other members of the genus Brookesia B. micra uses its tail as an extra limb, using it to grasp onto branches for added stability.

Phylogeny

Animalia-Chordata-Reptilia-Squamata-Lacertilia-Iguania-Chamaeleonidae-Brookesia-micra

Image Source(s)

Tiniest Chameleon

Credit: PLoS One.

The world’s tiniest chameleon, Brookesia micra, was discovered on a tiny island off Madagascar, scientists reported in February 2012. 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. 

BBC Nature: Tiny lizards found in Madagascar

One of the world’s tiniest lizards has been discovered by keen-eyed researchers in Madagascar.

The miniature chameleon, Brookesia micra, reaches a maximum length of just 29mm.

German scientists also found a further three new species in the north of the island.

The lizards were limited to very small ranges and scientists are concerned they could be at risk from habitat disturbance.