Photograph courtesy Frank Glaw
On Madagascar a member of the newly discovered chameleon species Brookesia desperata peers at a photographer through widely spaced eyes.
The small sizes of the four new chameleon species make them especially vulnerable to habitat destruction, and some of their names were chosen to reflect this. The latter part of B. desperata’s name, for example, means “desperate” in Latin.
“Its habitat is in truth barely protected and subject to numerous human-induced environmental problems resulting in severe habitat destruction, thus threatening the survival of the species,” the scientists write.
Another species was named B. tristis, or “sorrowful”-a reference to “the fact that the entire known range of this species suffers from severe deforestation and habitat destruction.”
Published February 15, 2012