Wild Fact #101 – Smaller Than Small – Minute Leaf Chameleon

Minute Leaf Chameleon

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Cool Things You Need To Know

  • The Minute Leaf Chameleon is one of the smallest reptile species roaming the planet today
  • Much like many other amazing animals, this particular chameleon can only be found on the incredible island of Madagascar
  • When you are this small, you had better figure out a way to avoid hungry predators. The Minute Leaf Chameleon uses camouflage, remain motionless and even play dead if necessary – the things you need to do in order to survive in the wild!

How Small is the Minute Leaf Chameleon?

As mentioned, the Minute Leaf Chameleon is one of the smallest reptiles in the world. So just how small are they? Would you be surprised if I told you that the females are typically around 33 mm (1.3 in) while the males are only a mere 28 mm (1.1 in) in length (and this includes their tail). Surprisingly the smaller males actually have a longer tail than their female counterparts. Why? Well, I have no idea but if you have any possible reasons, feel free to share them in the comments below (or on our Facebook page). Minute Leaf Chameleon

Playing Dead

We mentioned earlier that the Minute Leaf Chameleon needs to have a strategy in place for dealing with predators. Let’s face it, if you are only 1 inch long…you had better have an awesome defence strategy. And our featured reptile does not disappoint as they have evolved several techniques to escape being someone’s dinner (or lunch). First and foremost they have their beige, brown and green colouring which allows them to blend in nicely with the surrounding trees. To make this even more effective, the Minute Leaf Chameleon has been known to close their eyes (so nothing is standing out) and remain completely motionless when danger is in the area. If this doesn’t work and the predator continues to approach, our clever little chameleon will simply fall off the branch giving the attacker the impression that they are either dead or just a stick falling to the ground.

When you add all three of these defensive strategies together it gives you a pretty good arsenal and allows you to survive as a 1 inch long animal in roaming through the dangerous forest of Madagascar.


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