April 1, 2012

Today is April 1, and we are beginning our celebration of Earth Day with a report of the discovery of a new species on our planet! A chameleon small enough to perch on the head of a match has been discovered on a tiny island off Madagascar. It is called a "Brookesia micra" chameleon, and it is believed to be the smallest species ever found. This tiny reptile is just six-tenths of an inch (16 millimeters) long, and even with its tail fully extended, it only measures 1.1 inches (29 millimeters).

Chameleons (even ones as small as this one) are particularly well-adapted for catching the insects that make up most of their diet. They have feet like parrots, with two toes facing forward and two facing backward, so that they can grab onto branches and climb easily. Each of their eyes moves on its own, so they can see all around them as they hunt for insects. And when they spot an insect, they shoot their long tongues out of their mouths at lightning speed, enabling them to catch fast-moving prey.

Photo: Joern Koehler / Reuters

Be part of Seymour Simon’s celebration of Earth Day 2012 by commenting on blog stories like this one, and telling Seymour about YOUR Earth Day Promises! How are you going to make a difference for the Earth? What will you do to make it be Earth Day / every day? Each time you leave a comment between today and April 22, you will be entered into a drawing to win a free, personally autographed book from Seymour Simon. So get started by clicking "comments" below, and tell us about Your Earth Day Promises!


Posted by: Seymour Simon

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