Sunday, February 26, 2012

Brookesia Micra

Well, this little mite has been all over the internet recently, but I couldn't resist.
Why am I, and assume by extension is everyone else, so obsessed with tiny creatures?I suppose that they seem so impossible. Something so complex in a package so minute. All aesthetics and heart shrinking feelings aside, the tiny chameleon, more correctly the Pygmy Leaf Chameleon is found in Madagascar, along with a host of fascinating creatures, including lemurs (all the lemurs, they are found nowhere else) and was once home to the now extinct Elephant Bird. Madagascar also has an interesting history, and language. An amazing description of the island can be found in the introduction of Last Chance to See by Douglas Adams. One of my favourite books of all time. David Attenborough also seems pretty fond of the chameleon: The Brookesia micra is the smallest chameleon in the world, part of an entire family of miniature sized leaf chameleons, the Brookesia Minima group.
The Brookesia is not only near impossible to see due to its size, like all chameleons it is able to change colour to blend in with its surroundings. If threatened the chameleon will 'play dead' hoping to be mistaken for some sort of dry leaf.
Like most of the creatures on Madagascar, they are listed as a threatened species.

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