Scientists have always believed that panther chameleon of Madagascar is one species. However, a recent research shows that it is actually eleven different species.
Djordje Gribic, researcher at Laboratory of Artificial and Natural Evolution, along with his colleagues carried out an analysis on chameleon. The study was grounded on the difference and molecular phylogeography of the giant lizard. Biologists gathered blood samples from nearly 324 chameleons. These chameleons are mostly found in grassy regions. In addition, the team also captured numerous images of color variation of the lizard.
The group carefully looked at the mitochondrial structure and nuclear DNA of these chameleons.
Astoundingly, the team discovered that one panther chameleon split into eleven different ones. The photographs reveals that color patterns of chameleons can tell about their genetic lineage.
The genetic material reveals strong genetic structure is present among geographically limited lineages, says lead author of the study.
Scientists categorized chameleon in order to connect them with other species.
Moreover, researchers found that extended family of panther chameleon is rapidly transforming. The change occurs in a way that it creates entirely new specie.