“Chameleon”, The smallest reptile in the world

Chameleon, scientists have discovered a new, tiny chameleon in the rainforest of northern Madagascar. Which is the same size as a sunflower seed And possibly the smallest reptile in the world

The chameleon is officially named Brookesia nana or B. nana . This new species is very small. So it is thought that it survive from eating a tick, mite or fluke. Which can be found in leaf litter

“When we first saw it We know this is a big breakthrough, ”said Andolalao Rakotoarison, a reptile specialist in Madagascar. And co-author of the new study published in the journal Scientific Report .

The discovery of this tiny reptile raises an intriguing question of the limitation of vertebrate body size. And highlighting biodiversity that is stunning and imprisoned at the same time. Scientists expect that soon This chameleon is on the list of endangered species.

Lurking in the grass

As well as other types of chameleons This tiny reptile has a curved tongue used to capture prey. Hunt prey on the floor of the rainforest And retreat to a safe area on the grass at night.

If a larger animal approaches in the dark The shaking of the stalks of the grass warns the impending warning. And it will take a dip in the thickets of development biologist Mark Scherz at the University of Potsdam in Germany. And coauthor of this study.

Researchers suspect that this species may have earned the title of the smallest reptile on Earth. The closest rival to the tiny animal is the Brookesia Micra, a small chameleon discovered in 2012.

However, scientists have study only two of these lizards, one male and one female. Therefore, it is a matter of general discussion. And it is likely that other lizards of this species may be smaller or larger than the ones discovered. 

As well as the height of humans that are different Scientists estimate that the lizards of this family tend to have larger females or smaller males. Also known as sex differences (sexual dimorphism).

“It is difficult to judge whether. Such a small animal is already in full adulthood, ”Scherz said. But it was fortunate that. When he took the female lizards through a microct scan, the lizards took off. And he found evidence that the eggs were in the ovaries. “It’s like we’ve found the things to confirm,” he said.

How small can it be

In addition to being cute the scientist said the discovery of this tiny chameleon raises questions about ‘The small limit of vertebrates’ that can be how small it can be.

B. nana, for example, is smaller than the smallest bird or mammal, Scherz said, adding: But there are still smaller frog-type animals

From this same point We may have access to the knowledge of the limits of how small a reptile can be. This is a question about the animal’s surface area, says Tony Gamble, an evolutionary biologist. Of Marquette University Said and added that The story of the external contact areas of the body in animals is against the general idea Small animals tend to have a greater ratio of external surface area contact than large animals. And the greater the ratio The higher the rate of water loss in the body, the more animals in the body.

At the same time, Gamble said that new species. It reminds scientists and the public that Madagascar is an island of great natural diversity.