New chameleon species showcase fragile biodiversity in Madagascar

Once thought to be a single species, Madagascar’s panther chameleon has been proven to be at least 11 separate species, according to a new study conducted by the University of Geneva.

Published in the journal Molecular Ecology, the study was conducted by genetics and evolution professor Michel Milinkovitch and a team of researchers in Madagascar. The study looked at chameleons’ changing coloring to determine where different species diverted and confirm that Madagascar is one of the most biologically diverse places on Earth.

During two trips to the island, scientists collected a photograph and a blood sample from each of 324 individual panther chameleons. These samples were then used to test the hypothesis that the dominant color in the chameleon would correlate to its geographical population. READ MORE.