February 16, 2012 / 7:45 PM / 8 years ago

Scientists find some of world's tiniest chameleons

A 2004 scan of slide file picture shows a 'Brookesia micra' chameleon on the fingernail of a researchers hand in Madagascar. The so-called 'Brookesia micra' chameleon, believed to be the world smallest, has been discovered on the island of Madagascar, German and American biologists announced on February 16, 2012. REUTERS/Zoologische Staatssammlung Muenchen/Frank Glaw

BERLIN (Reuters) - Scientists say they have discovered a species of chameleon so small it can balance on the tip of a match.

The miniature lizard - “Brookesia micra” - reaches a maximum length of 29mm, and was discovered by a team of German and American researchers on the island of Nosy Hara, just off the northern coast of Madagascar.

“During the day it is very hard to find the chameleons, because they are very tiny and don’t move very much,” Frank Glaw, scientist at the Zoological State Collection in Munich, Germany, told Reuters TV on Thursday.

“The only way, or the best way, to find them is if you go out at night with headlamps and torches, because in the dusk the chameleons climb up the small plants to sleep,” he said.

The species was one of four types of tiny chameleons found in Madagascar, believed to be among the smallest reptiles in the world.

Reporting by Alice Baghdjian

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