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Chameleon Last Seen 100 Years Ago Rediscovered in Madagascar

Scientists have found an elusive chameleon species that was last spotted in Madagascar 100 years ago.

Chameleon Last Seen 100 Years Ago Rediscovered in Madagascar

Researchers from Germany and Madagascar rediscovered the elusive Voeltzkow’s chameleon in Madagascar. It was last seen in 1913, before World War I.

Conservation group Global Wildlife Conservation (GWC) announced the extraordinary find on Friday. The chameleon was spotted during a 2018 expedition, but Friday’s announcement coincides with the publication of a paper on the lizard in the journal Salamandra.

The Researchers had discovered several living specimens of Voeltzkow’s chameleon during an expedition to the north-west of the African island nation.

“I thought we might have a good chance of rediscovering Voeltzkow’s chameleon, but I was surprised that it took so long and that it was so difficult,” said expedition lead and lead author Frank Glaw of Zoologische Staatssammlung München in Germany.

In a report published in the journal Salamandra, the team, led by scientists from the Bavarian State Collection of Zoology (ZSM), said genetic analysis determined that the species was closely related to Labord’s chameleon.

Researchers believe that both reptiles only live during the rainy season – hatching from eggs, growing rapidly, sparring with rivals, mating and then dying during a few short months.

“I thought we might have a good chance of rediscovering Voeltzkow’s chameleon, but I was surprised that it took so long and that it was so difficult,” said expedition lead and lead author Frank Glaw of Zoologische Staatssammlung München in Germany.

“These animals are basically the mayflies among vertebrae,” said Frank Glaw, the curator of reptiles and amphibians at the ZSM.

Researchers said the female of the species, which had never previously been documented, displayed particularly colourful patterns during pregnancy, when encountering males and when stressed.

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“The Voeltzkow’s chameleon adds color and beauty to the planet, and reminds us that even when all seems lost, a great adventure can rekindle hope even for species we haven’t seen since Woodrow Wilson was president.”said GWC president Don Church

©Guardian

Uzonna Anele
Anele is a web developer and a Pan-Africanist who believes bad leadership is the only thing keeping Africa from taking its rightful place in the modern world.

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