A Very Small Chameleon – level 3
Scientists say that they have discovered a subspecies of chameleon that may well be the smallest reptile on Earth.
About the size of a sunflower seed, the newly described creature was found in the rainforest in northern Madagascar. So far, scientists have observed just two individuals, one male and one female, and this fact makes it difficult to completely understand the findings. It’s possible that other chameleons in this species would be larger or smaller, just like humans can be different heights.
The discovery also highlights the astonishing and highly threatened biodiversity of Madagascar. Scientists suspect that the chameleon will soon be listed as critically endangered. Poverty and growing populations in Madagascar have led to clearing of rainforests to make room for agriculture and livestock, and it has had a dramatic impact on wildlife.
Difficult words: subspecies (a specific type within a species), reptile (an animal such as a snake, lizard, crocodile, or turtle), biodiversity (the variety of plant and animal life in the world or in a particular area).
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