Meet Brookesia micra, the newly discovered world's smallest chameleon. This wee creature was discovered on an island off of Northern Madagascar, where a biological expedition found these tiny beasts snoozing in vegetation a mere four inches off the ground. Juvenile specimens of Brookesia micra are the size of a match head, whereas the adults can be eclipsed by a press-on nail. Explain the researchers of this miniature reptile:

The newly described Brookesia micra reaches a maximum snout-vent length in males of 16 mm, and its total length in both sexes is less than 30 mm, ranking it among the smallest amniote vertebrates in the world. With a distribution limited to a very small islet, this species may represent an extreme case of island dwarfism.


Brookesia micra was but one of four tiny chameleon species the team discovered. Now we will finally know the answer to the millennia-old riddle of how many Malagasy dwarf chameleons can dance on the head of a pin: "Maybe two." [PLOS One via Livescience]

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