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"Island Dwarfism" - World's Smallest Chameleon?


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Initial post: Feb 15, 2012 3:07:56 PM PST
Cool picture of what may be the world's smallest chameleon -
http://www.csmonitor.com/Science/2012/0215/World-s-tiniest-chameleon-How-did-it-get-so-small

The story with the photo suggests that an evolutionary phenomenon called "Island Dwarfism" may explain the chameleon's size...

Posted on Feb 15, 2012 3:09:23 PM PST
Rev. Otter says:
<obvious joke> what chameleon? i don't see anything! </obvious joke>

Posted on Feb 15, 2012 3:09:58 PM PST
Rev. Otter says:
but on a more serious note, daawwwwwwww that's gotta be the cutest thing i've seen today!

In reply to an earlier post on Feb 15, 2012 3:41:44 PM PST
I know! :)

In reply to an earlier post on Feb 16, 2012 2:31:09 AM PST
Dorsie says:
I saw this lovely creature. I do subscribe to the theory of "Island Dwarfism." It goes along with the discover of the "Hobbits" of Flores.

In reply to an earlier post on Feb 16, 2012 5:22:32 AM PST
Fossils of pigmy hippos have been found on Cyprus.

Posted on Feb 16, 2012 6:26:21 AM PST
Brian Curtis says:
Wow, that is one small chameleon.

And if pygmy hippos were alive today, everybody would want one.

Posted on Feb 16, 2012 11:13:15 AM PST
Ohmygosh! A pet pygmy hippo would be waaaay cool!
(I must check out the "Hobbits" of Flores - I've never heard of them.)

Posted on Feb 16, 2012 11:18:47 AM PST
Rev. Otter says:
i've always wanted to breed a tiny trainable chameleon (or other insectivorous lizard) that would sit on someone's shoulder and act as personal anti-mosquito system.

(our unofficial state bird? the mosquito.)

Posted on Feb 16, 2012 11:25:22 AM PST
Mosquitoes. I am a nature-lover, for sure - but mosquitoes - I do not like 'em.
So I just googled "Hobbit of Flores" - ohmygosh! What a wonderful find!
http://humanorigins.si.edu/research/asian-research/hobbits

Posted on Feb 16, 2012 11:48:15 AM PST
A. Caplan says:
If someone figures out how to breed those pygmy chameleons, I would buy one in a heartbeat. I have a carpet chameleon and thought that it was small.

In reply to an earlier post on Feb 16, 2012 11:48:29 AM PST
Irish Lace says:
This reminds me of a wonderful song from the operetta "Once on This Island" called "Mama Will Provide". A girl, Ti Mun, is on a long journey and asks the god Asaka about what will be provided to help her along the way:

She asks, "Moss?"
Asaka answers: "To soften the road!"
Rocks?
To sit on!
Trees?
To sleep underneath!
Sand?
Fun for your toes!
Plantain?
To fill up your belly!
Breeze?
To fan your face!
Grass?
For making your bed!
Mosquitos?
Ha!!

There is another song in the play called, The Human Heart. I'd love to hear you sing that one, Karen.

In reply to an earlier post on Feb 16, 2012 12:23:14 PM PST
Irish,

Oh wow! What great lyrics! Hahhaha! :) "Mosquitos? Ha!"
Okay, I've got to go check out this operetta now... you guys have got me googling like crazy here... and all great stuff!

In reply to an earlier post on Feb 16, 2012 12:33:06 PM PST
(Beautiful song, Irish. Really beautiful. I can't believe I'd never heard this one before...)

In reply to an earlier post on Feb 16, 2012 7:45:16 PM PST
"(I must check out the "Hobbits" of Flores - I've never heard of them.) "

Clearly evidence of domestication

(with apologies for inter-thread jokes)

In reply to an earlier post on Feb 16, 2012 10:45:19 PM PST
WOW!Thank you for posting this article.I agree with the Rev. that it is the cutest thing since Dolly Parton lost her bra at her daughter's wedding.(don't Google this story,it ain't true,the Dolly one that is).

I am a sucker for anything to do with wildlife and tonight I watched the neatest animal behavior that I have ever seen.I feed at stations and all sorts of critters visit.The squirrels and jays hide their food in the trees and in the ground as well.Tonight I watched the biggest Norwegian rat climbing the rhododendrons and maples for their food stash.And by gum he was finding their larders.I use night vision to watch what goes on in darkness.Normally I will see deer,raccoons,possums,mice and whatever but this surprised me.

In reply to an earlier post on Feb 17, 2012 6:10:17 AM PST
Irish Lace says:
"Okay, I've got to go check out this operetta now..."

You don't even need to see it. If you listen to the music from start to finish, you have the whole lovely story and you'll hum the music for a long time.

In reply to an earlier post on Feb 18, 2012 8:48:51 AM PST
Last edited by the author on Feb 18, 2012 8:50:44 AM PST
Christine: Clearly evidence of domestication (Flores hobbits)

...and artificial selection? Toy boys?

In reply to an earlier post on Feb 18, 2012 1:01:23 PM PST
Don't speak too soon, Richard Kepler has just proposed this on the "Abiogenesis" thread.

In reply to an earlier post on Feb 18, 2012 11:29:35 PM PST
Lawrence,

"I am a sucker for anything to do with wildlife..."
A kindred soul. :)

We live in the country, and I can walk out my door and see eagles, herons, and trumpeter swans within a half-mile radius. We have raccoons, deer, opossums, and otters in the vicinity, too. I live in an amazing part of the world.

Some years ago my husband and I flew back east to visit family. At the Newark airport I saw these really cute creatures about the size of an otter swimming around in a stream right next to the airport. I was amazed to see wildlife so close to NYC. All excited, I pointed the lively creatures out to my husband. "Those," he said, "are rats, and that," he added, pointing to the stream, "is a sewer."

So there you have it.

Rats can be cute, too.

In reply to an earlier post on Feb 19, 2012 8:42:57 AM PST
Roeselare says:
heh, hi Karen, how's James?

You can tell your husband that not too long ago our ancestors and the ancestors of rats were the same individuals. ;)

In reply to an earlier post on Feb 19, 2012 5:47:29 PM PST
Last edited by the author on Feb 19, 2012 6:58:15 PM PST
Hi werranth413!

James is as wonderfully witty and cantankerous as ever - he's been pretty busy wielding his bludgeon on Facebook - and if you ever join the FB, let us know - we'll make sure to include you in the clubhouse.

I'm pretty sure my husband already knows about rats being on our family tree - he's no slouch when it comes to science (his first degree was in forestry - then he decided he liked trees better standing up then lying down and became a photojournalist).

Edit: Just to clear up any confusion that might arise about this: James Longmire is my good friend from Nova Scotia; my dear husband is the U Conn graduate. They are not the same person.

In reply to an earlier post on Feb 20, 2012 10:57:38 AM PST
werr: not too long ago our ancestors and the ancestors of rats were the same individuals.

...but not long ago is still at least 100mya, w. The first primates are identified as 100mya. The first mammals were about 195 mya so somewhere between those two dates would be our common ancestor with rats.

In reply to an earlier post on Feb 20, 2012 11:44:23 AM PST
Christine M. Janis says: Don't speak too soon, Richard Kepler has just proposed this on the "Abiogenesis" thread.

I asked him to clarify this. I haven't yet found a reply from him on this topic (artificial selection among Hss). Have I missed something?

In reply to an earlier post on Feb 20, 2012 11:46:02 AM PST
Alpha Wingoov Karen says:
Lawrence, "I am a sucker for anything to do with wildlife..."

Is that a reference to our friend the octopus?
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This discussion

Discussion in:  Science forum
Participants:  10
Total posts:  26
Initial post:  Feb 15, 2012
Latest post:  Feb 20, 2012

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