It’s always sad when any species disappear, and that is how some people felt when the Madagascar chameleon seemed to have disappeared about a century ago. As it turns out, however, it may have just been using its ability to camouflage to its advantage, because experts have spotted the species of chameleon again.
The sighting took place on the northwest African island of Madagascar. Researchers from Germany and Madagascar were on an expedition in October when they found the Voeltzkow’s chameleon.
A report was published in Salamandra by the small team. The team was part of the Bavarian Natural History Collections ZSM and they provided a genetic analysis that confirmed the chameleon was a close relative to the Labord’s chameleon.
FOUND: The Voeltzkow’s Chameleon had been lost to science since 1913…but no longer! An expedition team rediscovered the colorful species during an expedition in Madagascar. This is the 6th of our most wanted lost species found! https://t.co/7ZK2AGV6aY (Video: Frank Glaw) pic.twitter.com/wYqwN5UlX4
— Global Wildlife Conservation (@Global_Wildlife) October 30, 2020
According to experts, both species are similar to each other in the way that they hatch and grow quickly during the rainy season. They will only survive for a few months during that time.
According to Frank Glaw, a curator for reptiles and amphibians at the ZSM, the animals are considered to be the “mayflies among vertebrates.”
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According to specialists, this is the first time a documented sighting of the female of the species occurred. When under stress, the female will display beautiful colors. According to AP News, she will also display those colors during pregnancy or when she finds a male nearby.
Researchers, in a report published in a Scientific Journal Salamandra, have found an elusive species of #chameleon, Voeltzkow Chameleon (Furciver Voeltzkowi), endemic to Madagascar, after a gap of more than 100 years, last seen in 1913. IC:Frank Glaw of ZSM #science #schools pic.twitter.com/yi0uEYteR2
— Science at 60 (@scienceat60) November 1, 2020
The species has been located once again, but researchers are now concerned about deforestation that is threatening its existence.
There wasn’t much data on the species so this provides an opportunity for vital information to be recorded. Researchers will observe and perhaps even understand the behavioral patterns for the first time. It seems that an opportunity like this comes around only once in a century.
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