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Brookesia nana: World’s smallest reptile?

  • Posted By
    10Pointer
  • Categories
    Environment
  • Published
    10th Feb, 2021

Context

Recently, a chameleon has been discovered in the island country of Madagascar by scientists from Germany and Madagascar. It may be the world’s smallest adult reptile.

About

  • Scientists have named it Brookesia nana.
  • The body of the male specimen appeared to be just 13.5-millimetres-long (a little more than a 1/2-inch.)
  • That’s at least 1.5 millimetres smaller than the previous record-holder, another member of the Brookesia family.

What are Chameleons?

  • Chameleons (Chamaeleonidae) are a distinctive and highly specialized clade of Old World lizards.
  • They are best known for their ability to change body colour. Other characteristics of chameleons include
    • zygodactylous feet (with toes fused into opposed bundles of two and three)
    • acrodont dentition (with the teeth attached to the edge of the jaw)
    • eyes that move independently
    • atrophied venomglands that produce harmless trace amounts of venom
    • a long, slender projectile tongue.
  • Chameleons are threatened by deforestation on Madagascar, which is home to numerous species.

Chameleon Scientific Classification

  • Kingdom: Animalia
  • Phylum: Chordata
  • Class: Reptilia
  • Order: Squamata
  • Family: Chamaeleonida