The Smallest Reptile on Earth

The world has many wonders of creation. Reptiles are a special group of animals that make up a significant percentage of kingdom Animalia. These reptiles have been created in different sizes with some as small as 17 mm and others as large as 6 m long. Some of them are as heavy as 2000 kg while others weigh less.

Reptiles are an interesting lot. The size of Brookesia nana makes it an interesting reptile to focus on. One may wonder how the super tiny creature survives. Let’s discuss more the nano-chameleon.


For a long while, the world never knew this tiny creature existed. It was until 2012 when German scientists established the nano-chameleon’s existence.

Its color is described as blotchy brown and that makes it hard for you to notice them in the woodlands. Regardless, Frank Glow was able to notice this species in 2012. This discovery happened in the Sorata Massif rainforest.

The northern Madagascar forest is home to very unique creatures. The chameleons found in this forest were two in number – a male and female. It was strange how such a combination could be found together just in time. It was a perfect coincidence. You can only imagine the excitement the Scientists felt when they came across the pair.

There are 11,500 reptile species in the world today. Out of all those, the nano-chameleon is the smallest and the most recent discovery. That makes it a unique creature and special too.

The male species of this reptile measures about 22 mm. The female is a few mm long and can grow as long as 29 mm. it is yet to be established what makes the species that small. As researchers continue to study the creature, we wait carefully for more information about the rare species.

Attempts to discover more dwarf chameleons were futile. Researchers looked around to see if other chameleons would be found but nothing came.

Species Differentiation

The tiny reptile is slightly different from the rest of the reptiles. Its small size makes it arguably the smallest reptile on earth. Even with that size, the nano chameleon is known to possess bigger genitals compared to its size.

This feature makes it different from the rest of the reptiles. It is also important to note that this is one of the few species with the female bigger than the male in size. For the majority of other chameleons, the males are bigger than the females.

Several scans were done to establish whether these small chameleons are adults. The female was found to have two eggs. That was a clear indication the female was an adult and all grown.

If that was the case, it was proof that the nano-chameleon had grown to maturity. That meant the length it has attained and weight was the maximum it could go. Even if it were to grow longer than that, perhaps it would increase by just 1mm or two.

Another proof of maturity was the chameleon’s genitals. Researchers say the genitals of this species were well developed. This meant they were mature already.

According to reports, every reptile has a specific part of its genitals that differentiate them. Besides, these parts only when the reptile is an adult. The nano-chameleon had them developed and it proved they were all grown. For that reason, it was safe to conclude that these found species are adults.

Chameleons, especially those in Madagascar tend to have extra-large genitals. For instance, the genitals of this small species are 19% of the whole body. But that is not the biggest in terms of genital to body ratio. There are other chameleon species with their private parts forming more than 30% of their body parts.

Just to put things into perspective, the nano-chameleon is as long as the length of your thumbnail. It is that small! The legs are tiny as well as the tail. You can squeeze the little animal with just two fingers.

Species Distribution

Every species has a distribution pattern. Some are widely spaced but for some, existence happens in close distance. This means the animals live close to each other.

Now, it has been established that the tinnier the creature the closer they’ll stay together. Bigger animals have wider distribution patterns. But there are exceptions to this conclusion.

Nano-chameleons have very small distribution ranges. They live within range and not far from each other. Well, only two nano-chameleons were found. Efforts to locate more went futile.

Regardless, it is believed that nano-chameleons cohabit in a small range. They live close to each whether as families or just reptiles in the same kingdom. Time will tell whether more of these creatures will be located and a conclusion arrived at. Meanwhile, we will dwell on the assumption that these animals live close to each other.

Distribution is very important in animal reproduction. Animals live close to each other making it easier to mate when the time comes. This is an important aspect of the species’ existence.

Reproduction means the continuation of a particular species. These distribution formations help achieve this. Mates can find each other easily when the time is ripe. Even after conception, families can stay close to ensure the young ones are secured from predators.

Species’ distribution is also affected by the animals’ social behaviors. Antisocial creatures tend to distance themselves more, although not all the time. They still stay close enough for reproduction purposes.


The world has tiny animals, but others like the nano-chameleon are too small. Their size is record-breaking with the male as small as 22mm. another interesting fact about this reptile is the fact that it does not camouflage like the rest. It is a rare exception that makes it stand out from the rest. Its diet is also made up of mites, springtails, and other microorganisms. Well, these animals are beautiful but it is reported that chameleons are not the best pets. Therefore, they better stay in the wild where it’s easier for them to manage their stress.

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