A chameleon species in Madagascar that has not been seen for over a hundred years has recently been rediscovered. Scientists from Germany and Madagascar found some living specimens of the special lizard and published about it in the scientific journal on Friday Salamandra.
It is about the Voeltzkow’s chameleon (officially Furcifer voeltzkowi called), a version of the chameleon species found only on the African island of Madagascar, discovered and described in 1893. There are a total of 24 different species of the Madagascar chameleon.
The several living specimens of the Voeltzkov’s chameleon were found by scientists from the German research institute Zoologische Staatssammlung München (ZSM) during an expedition in northwestern Madagascar.
The species appears to be genetically closely related to the species Labord’s chameleon, which is mainly found in the southwest of the island. Both species have a life expectancy of about five months. These chameleon species live the shortest of all four-legged friends as adults. “These animals are actually the mayfly of the vertebrates,” said one of the researchers.
At the beginning of November, at the beginning of the rainy season, they hatch their eggs and are sexually mature after two months. Males engage in fierce fights with their competitors to mate with as many females as possible. At the latest at the beginning of March, the eggs are laid in underground burrows, after which the adults quickly die.
Its short lifespan is one of the reasons this species has not been found in the past 100 years, according to the researchers. The researchers have now been able to document the females of the Voeltzkov’s chameleon for the first time. These animals show colorful patterns during their pregnancy, when they encounter males or when they are stressed.
Here’s a video the researchers made of Voeltzkov’s chameleon