Today’s Solutions: May 19, 2022

Scientists nowadays are more meticulous than ever when it comes to documenting the animal species that roam our Earth, but even then, we’re constantly being surprised by new discoveries from scientists out in the wild. Such was the case in Madagascar recently when scientists found an elusive chameleon species that hadn’t been spotted in over 100 years.

In a report published in the journal Salamandra, scientists said they discovered several living specimens of Voeltzkow’s chameleon during an expedition to the north-west of the African island nation. Genetic analysis revealed the chameleon is closely related to the Labord’s chameleon, an unusual reptile that spends most of its short life as an egg.

Similarly, this newly rediscovered species of chameleon is believed to only live during the rainy season – hatching from eggs, growing rapidly, sparring with rivals, mating, and then dying during a few short months.

“These animals are basically the mayflies among vertebrae,” said Frank Glaw, the curator of reptiles and amphibians at the Bavarian State Collection of Zoology (ZSM).

The researchers also stated that this was the first time they have documented the female of the species, which displayed some curious behavior. For instance, it displayed some particularly colorful patterns during pregnancy, as well as when encountering males and when stressed. Isn’t nature incredible?

The species is currently under threat from deforestation, but this sighting indicates that these chameleons are in fact still living on the island and more accurate data about their lifespans and location in Madagascar can help inform conservation efforts.

Image source: ZSM

Solutions News Source Print this article
More of Today's Solutions

“Blue Corridors”: using science and animal instinct to save fish populations

We’ve all marveled at the intrepid salmon swimming against the current, up waterfalls, and avoiding predators to return to its native spawning grounds, or at least we’ve all seen it on a nature show. This ... Read More

The Local Infrastructure Hub: helping US cities get infrastructure funding

The Bipartisan Infrastructure Bill was signed into law six months ago and has the potential to transform the United States in essential ways that address climate change and wealth inequality. Before that happens, though, states ... Read More

New desalination system uses Teflon-like membrane to make seawater potable

Clean drinking water is already in short supply in many places around the world, but the situation is only expected to get worse with climate change. Figuring out ways to desalinate brackish water or seawater ... Read More

How scientists are bringing human eye cells back from the dead

Scientists from Switzerland and the US were able to achieve something miraculous—some might even say Biblical: bringing dead human cells back to life! The team published a study that opens by defining death as the ... Read More

Turns out the job market isn’t all doom and gloom after all

Life is a surprising adventure, experiencing ups and downs when we least expect it, so, of course, just as we come out of a global pandemic there looms the possibility of an economic recession. Amid ... Read More

MIT system uses machine-learning to reduce traffic and car emissions

As if idling in a line of cars at a red light forever wasn’t bothersome enough, vehicles emit greenhouse gasses while they’re stopped in traffic. Not only that, exposure to excess vehicle emissions while idling ... Read More