‘Extinct’ chameleon rediscovered in Madagascar after a century

A spectacular chameleon, initially thought to be extinct after its last sight more than 100 years ago, has recently been rediscovered in the forests of Madagascar.

The Voeltzkow’s chameleon or Furcifer voeltzkowi was last seen back in 1913. Yet, a group of conservationists from Germany and Madagascar were baffled to notice several individuals of the the colorful chameleon alive, during an expedition on the north-west of the island. The remarkable discovery has been then published in the Salmandra journal.

Frank Glaw

“I thought we might have a good chance of rediscovering Voeltzkow’s chameleon,” Frank Glaw, the lead author said in a statement. “However, I was surprised that it took so long and that it was so difficult.Our efforts were entirely unsuccessful during most of the trip to find it where we thought it would most likely be”

Kathrin Glaw

It is quite confusing how the species stayed under the radar for so long. But researchers have a theory which is related to their extremely short lifespan. It is thought that Voeltzkow’s chameleons only live a few short months during the rainy season. After hatching, they grow impressively quick and once they reach the adulthood they mate and die shortly after. Maybe it is the simplicity of their lives what make them so special, beside their striking color.

“The Voeltzkow’s chameleon adds color and beauty to the planet,” Don Church – president of Global Wildlife Conservation, said. “Now we have so much to learn about this extraordinary reptile, including how we can best save it from extinction.”

You can watch the spectacular Voeltzkow chameleon in the video bellow:

h.t: livescience

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