On a small island off Madagascar, a group of scientists have discovered a species of chameleon that are tiny enough to perch easily on the head of a match. The new species is called Brookesia micra and is the tiniest ones every discovered. In addition to this tiny chameleon the scientists have also discovered three other species of tiny chameleon.
The adult males of this species only grow to just over a half inch from their nose to the bottom. The lead researcher has stated the team has already had experiences finding small lizards in Madagascar. They searched for this tiny sleeping chameleon in the dark using just flashlights and headlamps. At night they climb up into the branches, which are just four inches off the ground, to sleep but all four of the newly discovered species are very active during the day. When they are sleeping they are very easy to just pick up because at night they do not move at all.
These four species have been discovered on the northern regions of Madagascar. Three of the species were found on expeditions during 2003 and 2007. Two of the species are in danger of becoming extinct because of deforestation and habitat. According to Frank Glaw, lead researcher, the latest tiny chameleon discovered may represent the limit of miniaturization that is possible for a vertebrate with complex eyes.