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Madagascar Chameleon Last Seen 100 Years Ago Found By Scientists

by : Mike Williams on : 31 Oct 2020 19:18
Madagascar Chameleon Last Seen 100 Years Ago Found By ScientistsMadagascar Chameleon Last Seen 100 Years Ago Found By ScientistsDavid Prötzel/YouTube

A Madagascan chameleon that had ‘gone missing’ has now been re-discovered by scientists a century later.

Experts spotted the illusive species of chameleon, thought to have been lost forever – or its camouflage worked too well – while on an expedition around the northwest African island. Researchers from both Madagascar and Germany revealed they’d discovered the Voeltzkow’s chameleon, on Friday, 30 October.

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According to a report published by Salamandra, a small team that formed as part of the Bavarian Natural History Collections ZSM, confirmed the genetic analysis showed it was closely related to the already-known Labord’s chameleon.

Experts say that both similar species only live during the rainy season, hatching and growing quickly, and only surviving for a few months.

‘These animals are basically the mayflies among vertebrates,’ Frank Glaw, a curator for reptiles and amphibians at the ZSM, said.

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Specialists confirmed this was the first time the female of the species had ever been documented, citing its colourful shadings when when stressed, during pregnancy, or when encountering a male, AP News reports.

No sooner had the stealthy species been located, researchers said its very existence was under threat due to deforestation, and that the Voeltzkow chameleons must be protected.

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The breakthrough is significant when it comes to recording vital information on the species – largely because even the most basic of data didn’t exist. Now, researchers will be able to observe and hopefully understand its behavioural patterns for the first time.

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We know chameleons are great at hiding themselves away from predators and while hunting their prey, but to have been incognito for so long is impressive.

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Credits

AP News
  1. AP News

    Scientists find Madagascar chameleon last seen 100 years ago