The smallest reptiles in the world found in Madagascar

In the northern mountainous part of the island of Madagascar, researchers have found a new species of lizard, which is recognized as the smallest of all known to date. So far, scientists have only two individuals at their disposal, but they were very lucky to catch a male and a female. They were checked with a tomograph and made sure that all organs were formed, and even two tiny eggs were found in the womb of the female, which indicates that these are adults, full-sized individuals, and not cubs.

The new species of reptiles is called Brookesia nana, and unofficially it was dubbed "nanochameleon". The body length of the female is only 19 mm, including the tail - 29 mm. The male is tiny at all, 13.5 mm and 22 mm, respectively. This makes it the smallest vertebrate creature and points to an interesting biological feature. To mate with a much larger female, evolution gave the male huge genitals - they reach 20% of his body length.

Scientists are not ready to explain what led to the appearance of such tiny lizards. The theory of the "island effect", when animals begin to degrade and shrink from living in isolation, does not work here. Their distant relatives live in the neighborhood of nanochameleons, but these are lizards of quite standard sizes. Unfortunately, active deforestation in Madagascar hinders a detailed study of the baby's habitat, which can lead to the complete destruction of this species.