back to article Reptile boffins spot world's smallest chameleon

German boffins have discovered the world's smallest chameleon in Madagascar while picking through leaf litter. tiny_chameleon_plos_one Scientist don't know why Brookesia micra is so small. It is not clear why island dwarfism occurs. Image va PLoS One The critter-hunters found the new species on the tiny islet of Nosy Hara …


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  1. Ben Norris

    A bit early for april fools day?

  2. Code Monkey
    Black Helicopters

    They say tiny chameleon, I say MASSIVE FINGER!

    1. Bobby Omelette

      You're actually spot on : The article says '... measures 29mm (1.1 inches) from nose to tail ...', which must make the finger in the pic about 2" wide!

      1. diodesign (Written by Reg staff) Silver badge

        Not sure if joking - but I imagine that 29mm is the thing with its tail stretched out.


  3. jai


    didn't they just discover the smallest frog a few months ago, also under a leaf?

    possible, boffins should try looking under more leaves, there might be miniature pandas and elephants and hobbits and all sorts under there!

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Every Day...

      Turn over a new leaf

  4. dervheid

    That small so...

    what the smeg does it eat?

    It looks like it would choke on a midge!

  5. Toastan Buttar
    Thumb Up


    Love it!

  6. FartingHippo

    Island Dwarfism

    I thought it was pretty common with isolated species. No predators combined with occasional food shortages mean smaller animals are selected (they need a smaller amount of food) and pass on their midget genes.

    All the big hungry bastards kick the bucket and receive a posthumous Darwin award.

    1. Dr. Mouse

      Re: Island Dwarfism

      "All the big hungry bastards kick the bucket and receive a posthumous Darwin award."

      Aren't ALL Darwin Awards posthumous?

      1. Code Monkey

        Re: Aren't ALL Darwin Awards posthumous?

        No. You can receive one while alive by losing your ability to reproduce.

        1. darkmage0707077

          Re: Re: Aren't ALL Darwin Awards posthumous?

          @Code Monkey; Yes, but though that only applies if you haven't already reproduced before losing it.

          1. Code Monkey

            Re: Re: Re: Aren't ALL Darwin Awards posthumous?

            @darkmage0707077 very true. Also true for the posthumous awards.

        2. Dr. Mouse

          Re: Re: Aren't ALL Darwin Awards posthumous?

          @Code Monkey

          Ah, OK I forgot about that. Thanks

  7. A. Nervosa

    David Attenborough

    Wasn't this minuscule reptile filmed extensively a good half year ago for David Attenborough's Madagascar documentary?

    1. Ru

      Re: David Attenborough

      DIfferent species, found on the mainland, IIRC.

    2. TheRealRoland

      Re: David Attenborough

      Last week, I think wednesday 8 feb, there was a nice National Geographic documentary about Madagascar - how diverse / specified the species were. These mini-meleons were part of that docu.

      Not sure how old that docu was, but it looked great.

      Sponsored by AT&T, it turned out.

  8. Nick Ryan Silver badge

    May I be the first to bow down to our pint sized lizard overlords.

    Oh dammit, fingernail sized...

    1. Yet Another Anonymous coward Silver badge

      I was more worried about the Lizard-Boffins.

      Picturing T-Rex in a lab coat

  9. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward


  10. Shambles
    Thumb Down

    Smallest, maybe...

    Maybe the world's smallest, but quite possibly the worlds WORST chameleon?

  11. Martin 49

    More piccies

    and here are some more pics of it's chameleon abilities in action...

  12. Graham Marsden


    ... have they found any penguins yet?

    Excuse me, someone's tapping on my shoulder...

    "You ain't seen us! Right?!"

    Err, sorry, forget the above post...!

  13. VeganVegan

    It's small enough to hide

    in the Hary Nosa then?

  14. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Has Steve Jobs been reincarnated?

    1. ItsNotMe

      Re: "Has Steve Jobs been reincarnated?"

      No...that would have been a "snake in the grass."

  15. Bill Neal

    ...used genetic analysis...

    How many did he kill to get enough blood for a DNA sample? Just one perhaps?

  16. Kevin 6

    Wow now wish they would catch a few breed em and put them in pet shops.

    1. TimeMaster T

      Until then collectors will hunt them in the wild. Their known habitat may be in a protected area but that won't stop people desperate for a money.

      Damn cute they are. In danger they will be.

      Tux. Just because ...

  17. Joe User

    Just wondering....

    How many of those mini-meleons did they unknowingly step on during their visit to the island?

  18. Johnny Canuck

    Excuse me, but I own the patent for "displaying miniature chameleons on a persons fingertip". The Register must immediately cease the unlicensed usage of images depicting miniature chameleons on peoples fingertips forthwith.

  19. John Sanders

    Me and my JJ

    Me and my J.J

    With me he will stay-ay

    And then we can play-ay

    All night and all day-ay

    From his lemur egg my lemur prince will rise

    It's little femur leg growing to king size!

    He'll be regally,

    He be legally mine!

    Aw, look at how cute he is!

    Me and my J.J

    With me he will stay-ay

    And then we can play-ay

    From June until May-ay

    He'll be regally,

    I said legally mine!

  20. Euripides Pants

    New mascot for...

    ...DSS - Damn Small SuSE!

  21. Sceptic Tank Silver badge
    IT Angle

    Scientist don't know why Brookesia micra is so small.

    But I know..... It's because it stopped growing.

    What's a scientist? Is that like a boffin?

  22. Sceptic Tank Silver badge

    Another thing....

    It was found on the "tiny islet of Nosy Hara". That would probably go a long way towards explaining why they are so small, wouldn't it? I mean, how many blimp sized chameleons would fit on a tiny island and how long would the food last?

    Congratulations to the nosy scientists that went to Nosy Hara island to go find the wildlife for us!

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