Wednesday, July 16, 2008

Short-lived Chameleon

Scientists have discovered a chameleon species that spends a good two-thirds of its life inside an egg: Furcifer labordi lives about 8-9 months as an embryo, and has a post-hatching lifespan of just 4-5 months. As far as the scientists know, this strange life history is unique among all land vertebrates, and may help researchers better understand how certain ecological and hormonal factors influence life history evolution. The small F. labordi lives in the extremely arid southwest region of Madagascar. The desert-like, spiny-forest area experiences a long dry season from March through November, and a rainy season between December and February. This harsh, variable environment may be one of the reasons for the odd life history of F. labordi. Source: (via A Welsh View)

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