This itty bitty chameleon may be the smallest reptile on Earth. Frank Glaw, a herpetologist from the Bavarian State Collection of Zoology in Munich, and colleagues are the first to describe this new teeny weeny chameleon, Brookesia nana, that lives in Madagascar's Malagasy forest. Unfortunately, the International Union for Conservation of Nature may soon list the species as critically endangered due to human deforestation of their habit. From Science News:
The female measures 28.9 millimeters, considerably larger than the 21.6-millimeter-long male. The size difference may have driven the male's genitalia to be quite large — nearly 20 percent of its body length — to be a better fit to his mate, herpetologist Frank Glaw of the Bavarian State Collection of Zoology in Munich and colleagues suggest.
"Extreme miniaturization of a new amniote vertebrate and insights into the evolution of genital size in chameleons" (Scientific Reports)
image: Frank Glaw