A chameleon subspecies that is the size of a seed has been discovered in Madagascar, and scientists believe that it may be the smallest reptile in the whole world. A pair of the minuscule lizards were discovered by an expedition team. Named to be the male Brookesia nana or nano-chameleon. The entire length of the body measures to just 13.5mm. It has been added to 11,500 known species of reptiles.
"The new chameleon is only known from a degraded montane rainforest in northern Madagascar and might be threatened by extinction," according to the Scientific Reports journal.
"The nano-chameleon's habitat has unfortunately been subject to deforestation," said a scientist at the Center of Natural History in Hamburg, Oliver Hawlitschek, "but the area was placed under protection recently, so the species will survive."
Dr. Mark Scherz was involved in the discovery as one of the researchers. Scherz called the species "a spectacular case of extreme miniaturization".
"So this tiny new chameleon violates the pattern of the smallest species being found on small islands" continued Scherz, "That suggests that something else is allowing/causing these chameleons to miniaturize."
In their report, the German-Madagascaran researchers advised that the chameleon should qualify as critically endangered in the International Union for Conservation of Nature's (IUCN) Red List of Threatened Species. Hopefully, with this measure, the chameleon is protected.