Scientists have discovered a chameleon so small it could sit on your little finger.
The chameleon, which is about three centimetres long, lives on a small island called Nosy Hara, off the coast of Madagascar, in the Indian Ocean.
It is the smallest chameleon and possibly the smallest reptile ever discovered. It lives among rocks and leaves on the forest floor. At night it sleeps on plants, about five to 10 centimetres above the ground.
It is mostly grey and brown with an orange tail, and it doesn’t change colour like most chameleons do. The scientists say this is because it’s already the right colour to blend in with its surroundings.
The scientific name for the chameleon is Brookesia micra. Brookesia means it belongs to a group known as leaf chameleons. Micra is from the Greek word for small or tiny.
The scientists say the chameleons may have gotten smaller and smaller over several generations in order to survive in a place where food and space are limited. When animals change in this way, it is called “island dwarfism.”
The chameleons’ home is being destroyed by people cutting down trees illegally.
Because this is the only place where these chameleons have been found, the scientists say this means they could be in danger of becoming extinct.
By Kathleen Tilly
This chameleon has had to adapt in order to survive. Now this species might be in danger of extinction because people are cutting down trees where they live.
What other ways have humans impacted animals and their homes? Think of both positive and negative examples and relate them to the article about the world’s smallest chameleon.
Reading Prompt: Text Features
How do the photographs in this article help you understand the text?
Identify some text features and explain how they help readers understand texts (OME, Reading: 2.3).
Identify a variety of text features and explain how they help readers understand texts (OME, Reading: 2.3).
Identify a variety of text features and explain how they help communicate meaning (OME, Reading: 2.3).
Grammar Feature: Demonstrative Pronoun
There are four demonstrative pronouns: this, that, these, those. They are used to point out specific people, animals, places, things and ideas.
For example, “Because this is the only place where these chameleons have been found, the scientists say this means they could be in danger of becoming extinct.”
In this sentence, this refers to the chameleon’s home.
Fill in the blanks with the correct demonstrative pronoun:
1. ____ tastes good.
2. ____ is beautiful.
3. Look at ____!
4. Have you seen ____?
5. ___ is heavier than ___.
What did you notice when you were deciding which demonstrative pronoun to use?