Researchers from Oklahoma State University have discovered the shortest living tetrapod (four limbed vertebrate) to date. The hard-livin’ Labord’s Chameleon spends 8-9 months incubating within the egg, only to hatch and die 4-5 months later. Published in the July issue of the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, the report states: “Remarkably, this chameleon spends more of its short annual life cycle inside the egg than outside of it. Our review of tetrapod longevity (>1,700 species) finds no others with such a short life span.” Most tetrapods live between 2 and 10 years.
8 going on 80
This finding sheds may new light on the question of why some species of chameleon die so quickly when held in captivity at zoos. It turns out taunting and knocking on the glass by bratty, under-supervised, 10 year olds was not to blame.