World’s smallest reptile is less than an inch long!
Madagascar is a land of exotic animals, flora and fauna. Many rare species like the long-necked giraffe weevil, the colourful, cat-sized panther chameleon, and the bright orange-red tomato frogs are found here. And one more rare gem has been added to this list.
Scientists have discovered what may be the smallest reptile on Earth. The species is called Brookesia nana, or nano-chameleon. It lives in the northern rainforest of Madagascar. The scientists found a male and a female. While the male is less than an inch long and fits on a fingertip, the female is larger, at just over an inch long. At only 0.87 inches, the male is the smallest among all the world’s 11,500 known reptile species.
Unlike most other chameleons, the blotchy brown lizards do not change color. They also prefer to live on the forest floors, not trees.
It is still not clear how the reptiles are so small. Mostly, miniature size is attributed to the “island effect,” where animals trapped on small islands tend to evolve smaller body sizes. However, the nano-chameleons were found in the high-altitude rainforests, which have ample space and natural resources for animals to flourish.
Did you know?
Madagascar is home to some of the world's most exciting and unique animal species — about 75 percent of which cannot be found anywhere else on the planet.