New Delhi | Jagran Trending Desk: In a huge discovery, a team of German scientists have found a 'pea-sized' reptile in Madagascar. The researchers believe that they may have discovered the smallest reptile on the Earth and have named it "nano-chameleon or Brookesia nana", claiming that it can easily fit on the tip of a fingertip.

The size of this male nano-chameleon is found to be 13.5mm (0.53 inches) long. On the other hand, the female nano-chameleon is a bit larger and has a length of 29mm (1.142 inches), researchers have said.

Where was this nano-chameleon found?

The nano-chameleon was found in the mountains of northern Madagascar during a 2012 expedition. Frank Glaw, a German herpetologist at the Bavarian State Collection of Zoology, said that they discovered the pair of nano- chameleons way back but they did not realise they were adults until they found out that the female reptile had eggs in her body and the male reptile had large genitals, so thus after that, it was clear that they were adults.

What is the size and colour of the world's smallest reptile?

They are just like a size of a seed and Frank Glaw said that one can not easily find them as one needs to get down on knees to find them. The size of a male chameleon is 13.5mm (0.53 inches), whereas the size of a female nano-chameleon is 29mm (1.142 inches).

They are even camouflage and they have relatively very low speed. Glaw further said that it is not yet clear why these reptiles are too small.

However, the co-author Andolalao Rakotoarison of the University of Antananarivo in Madagascar said that even though this time is the world's smallest, there are many other extremely small vertebrates in Madagascar, including the smallest frogs and smallest primates. But, this island effect is not responsible for the tiny size of this reptile.

What is the threat to this species?

The researchers have said that deforestation will be a major threat and recently that particular area has been placed under protection so that these species can survive, said Oliver Hawlitschek, an evolutionary biologist at the Center of Natural History in Hamburg.

In the report, the scientist has said that this species of reptiles should be listed as endangered in the International Union for Conservation of Nature's (IUCN) Red List of Threatened Species so that their habitat can be protected.

What is deforestation?

Deforestation is the cutting of trees to a large extent in some particular area for non-forest use. Deforestation generally takes place in the tropical rainforest area.

To be noted, Madagascar remains in a major threat list of deforestation as many people practice slash and burn culture and illegal logging on this island.

Posted By: Deeksha Sharma