February 23

A juvenile Brookesia micra Photo Credit: Frank Glaw, Jörn Köhler, Ted M. Townsend, Miguel Vences. Rivaling the World's Smallest Reptiles: Discovery of Miniaturized and Microendemic New Species of Leaf Chameleons (Brookesia) from Northern Madagascar. PLoS ONE 7(2): e31314.

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Dwarf Chameleon

Scientists have recently discovered Brookesia micra, the world's smallest known chameleon. Small enough as a juvenile to stand on the head of a match, this tiny reptile may grow up to 1.2 inches in length. When it is fully grown, its tail will turn a gradated orange.

The dwarf chameleon can be found on the islet of Nosy Hara in extreme northern Madagascar, a nation that is home to nearly half of all known chameleons. They forage on the forest floor and climb up to lower branches of short plants to sleep at night.

Check out these Science NetLinks resources on reptiles to put this tiny member in perspective:

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