Tiny chameleon a contender for title of smallest reptile

BERLIN (AP) — It fits on a human fingertip, but this chameleon could make a big splash.

Scientists from Madagascar and Germany say a newly discovered species of chameleon is a contender for the title of world’s smallest reptile.

Frank Glaw, who was part of the international team of researchers that classified the new species and named it Brookesia nana said the body of the male specimen appeared to be just 13.5-millimeters-long (a little more than a 1/2-inch.)

That’s at least 1.5 millimeters smaller than the previous record holder, another member of the Brookesia family.

 

“You really have to get down on your knees to find them,” Glaw told The Associated Press in a telephone interview Friday. “They are obviously camouflaged and they move very slowly.”

Glaw and his colleagues performed a CT scan of the female and discovered that it harbored two eggs, confirming that it was an adult.

Confirming Brookesia nana as the smallest reptile species will require finding more of them, which might take several years, he said.

The team’s research was recently published in the journal Scientific Reports.

Chameleons are threatened by deforestation on Madagascar, which is home to numerous species.

Categories: Associated Press

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