Tiny creature, big find

Chameleon discovery highlights importance of forest’s biodiversity

A tiny chameleon species with a scaly horn on its snout has been discovered in Tanzanian forests, according to LiveScience.com.

The animal (pictured), which has blue dots on its limbs, has a body that spans less than three inches and a tail of a similar length. Only four of the creatures have been found in Tanzania since scientist Andrew Marshall from the University of New York disturbed a twig snake that was eating one of the chameleons in the Magombera forest in late November.

Scientists ran a genetic analysis on the chameleon and found that while it is in the genus Kinyongia, it is a separate species from any others that have been found. Scientists say the species’ small horn may suggest it is a gentle animal.

The find highlights the biodiversity of the forest, which has been threatened in recent years. Scientists hope the discovery ultimately will lead to protections for the Magombera forest.