New study shows unity in diversity when it comes to a particular animal species, namely the Panther Chameleon in Madagascar. After researchers took DNA samples from a total of 324 panther chameleons, they discovered a staggering number of 11 species in what was thought to be a single specimen.
The research study was held by The University of Geneva and led by Dr. Michel Milinkovitch. His study implied taking blood samples from all the 324 jaguar reptiles, the entire species population in the island.
Researchers used a high resolution imaging process to record blood samples. Each of the reptile’s DNA was sequenced and evaluated in the lab. Results showed a small interbreeding among the reptile population. Minor color examples can tell the chameleon’s hereditary origin.
After long analysis and sequencing, variations and DNA structures revealed 11 fabulous species that belong to this particular animal group.
Researchers commented that this surprising case of hidden speciation confirms a very important characteristic of Madagascar. Madagascar is confirmed to be amongst the most diverse places for life on Earth, unfolding in richness of flora and fauna and surprisingly diversified animal species. Madagascar is a real biodiversity hotspot and the Madagascar Jaguar chameleon is here to make us positive of that.
The size of this chameleon is quite surprising, with a normal length around 45 cm in the case of females and 50 cm in size for males. The reptile lives on the shorelines of the area but specimens can be seen in other districts, as various groups of people are used to breeding them.
What is most extraordinary in a jaguar chameleon is its color, which is very much attractive, if not really fascinating. The skin color variety is the reptile’s particular characteristic and its shades include lively red, orange and blue. The remarkable differences in color separate the chameleon from other reptile species.
To be more specific in regards to their findings, scientists started to make a classification of chameleon colors. This should allow not only scientists but also common people like us, to distinguish chameleon species just by looking at the shades that define it.
Another important touch point of the research was to encompass a strategy for the biodiversity management, efficient in helping and properly adjusting the chameleon protection program in Madagascar, already threatened due to extreme deforestation and destruction of its natural habitat.
A more comprehensive revealing of the study can be analyzed in the journal Molecular Ecology.
Image Source: wildherps.com