Connect with us

    Hi, what are you looking for?


    Nature & Science

    A New Ant-Sized Chameleon Has Been Discovered

    Image Source: Maria Grills 8 / Shutterstock

    Scientists have recently unveiled the existence of four newly identified chameleon species on the island of northern Madagascar. Among these, the Brookesia Micra stands out as one of the most diminutive chameleons globally. This fascinating development is attributed to a process known as island dwarfism.

    Introducing Brookesia Micra

    In an intriguing turn of events, researchers exploring the northern part of Madagascar discovered several new chameleon species, including the diminutive Brookesia Micra. Despite being the tiniest chameleon found yet, it does not hold the record for the smallest vertebrate—that distinction belongs to a tiny frog from Papua New Guinea. Surprisingly larger than an ant, the adult Brookesia Micra can grow just beyond a half-inch in length (close to 16 mm). Let’s delve deeper into the fascinating details of this miniature creature.

    Detecting These Miniature Chameleons

    Finding these miniaturized chameleons is no small feat during daylight, due to their remarkably small stature. At night, they can be found sleeping on low-hanging plants, just a handful of inches from the ground. Lead researcher, Frank Glaw, mentioned that although they might blend into their surroundings, they’re quite simple to catch and can feel as light and delicate as a strawberry when held.

    The Science Behind Their Tiny Size

    You may be curious about the factors leading to the chameleon’s exceptionally small size. ‘Island dwarfism’ is a phenomenon that provides a possible explanation. This evolutionary process often takes place on islands such as Madagascar, where smaller animals who require fewer resources can have survival and reproductive advantages, especially during periods of limited food. Dwarf species are not only efficient in their resource use but also have unique physiology that allows them to thrive with minimal shelter.

    Insights from the Research Team on Brookesia Micra

    During expeditions that spanned from 2003 to 2007, researchers stumbled upon these tiny reptiles in the wild, untouched regions of northern Madagascar, swiftly identifying them as a distinct new species. According to Mr. Glaw, spotting these chameleons with the naked eye poses a significant challenge. He also highlights the urgent conservation issue, noting that deforestation poses a severe threat to at least two of the newly found chameleon species.

    Although Brookesia Micra might currently represent the extreme of vertebrate miniaturization, scientists remain open to the possibility that an even smaller life form awaits discovery. Future research may very well reveal new contenders for the title of the tiniest vertebrate.

    As we anticipate further discoveries of tiny species, we can celebrate the Brookesia Micra for its place among the world’s smallest known chameleons.

    Image Source: Maria Grills 8 / Shutterstock

    You May Also Like


    In 2009, renowned filmmaker James Cameron introduced the world to Avatar, a groundbreaking science-fiction movie that earned immense commercial success and became one of...


    Adam Sandler, a seasoned actor known for his comedy, has also demonstrated his ability in more serious and dramatic roles. Following his performance in...


    Last month, the filming of the movie “Being Mortal,” directed by Aziz Ansari and featuring Bill Murray and Seth Rogan, came to a halt...


    Jon Stewart, a well-known television personality, was honored with the prestigious Mark Twain Prize for his successful career in television and stand-up comedy over...