One of our favourite creatures from our trip to Madagascar was the tiny Brookesia Chameleon. Brookesia is a genus of chameleons found only in Madagascar. Some of the species in this genus are considered to be the smallest chameleons in the world!
We photographed these tiny chameleons in Amber Mountain National Park in the North of Madagascar. The chameleons spend their lives in amongst the leaf litter, where they hunt minuscule insects. When they are disturbed they play dead and resemble a dried leaf… as a result they are also known as “Leaf-mimicking Chameleons”.
Unlike many other chameleons, Brookesias cannot change their colour drastically. Instead, they are limited to a palette of brown, earthy colours which allows them to camouflage themselves perfectly in their environment.
We spent almost a week looking for these chameleons and were never able to spot them on our own. Fortunately, our guide, having worked in the park for around 20 years, was well practiced in the art of spotting them and seemed to be able to produce the tiny creatures on demand! His spotting abilities never ceased to amaze us, particularly when it came to leaf tailed geckos!
You might have seen the image above before as we have previously posted it on our facebook page and on flickr. Today it has also been picked up by a number of newspapers. For this picture we wanted to get across a sense of scale so we carefully placed one of the tiny chameleons on Matthew’s thumbnail and used the Canon MP-E 65mm macro lens to photograph it. The image really illustrates how cute these little chameleons are!
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