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Planet With Water-Vapor Atmosphere Found
_The planet GJ 1214 b, which is about 40 light years from Earth, has an atmosphere that consists about half of water. The planet is very close to it's red dwarf star, which gives it a surface temperature of about 230° Celsius (450° F).
Newfound Alien Planet is Best Candidate Yet to Support Life
_An alien planet which is the best candidate yet to harbor liquid water and possibly even life on its surface — has been found around a nearby star.
Russian scientists drill through to mysterious lake 3.7 km below Antarctic ice
_For over 30 years, Russian scientists have been drilling a hole to reach Lake Vostok, which is about 3.7 km (2.2 mi) below ground and contains water that has been undisturbed for 20 million years. The lake might provide clues whether microbial life may exist on icy moons of Jupiter.
How Alzheimer's Spreads Finally Understood
_Alzheimer’s disease begins in one small part of the brain and is spread by a distorted protein from one brain cell to another.
Asteroid Passes Near Earth
_The passage of the near-Earth Asteroid Eros allows more exact measurements of the solar system.
Comet Hits the Sun
_Scientists have found the impact of a comet hitting the Sun by analyzing and comparing data from three observatories from July 2011.
02/27/2012      share:derubg

Madagascar: Smallest Chameleon Found

Scientists recently discovered the smallest chameleon known so far. This species may have evolved through a phenomenon known as island dwarfism.

_The newly discovered species belongs to the Malagasy leaf chameleons group, which appear to be restricted to single, mostly karstic, localities in extreme northern Madagascar.

The smallest of these, "Brookesia micra", reaches a maximum snout-vent length in males of 16 mm, and its total length in both sexes is less than 30 mm, ranking it among the smallest vertebrates in the world. With a distribution limited to a very small islet, this species is probably an extreme case of island dwarfism. Smaller animals need to consume fewer resources to survive and reproduce, which is advantageous when food is scarce.

This chameleon may be the smallest vertebrate with complex eyes, pushing the limit of what is possible. It may also be the world's smallest lizard, but it's not the smallest vertebrate. Holding this title is a frog from Papua New Guinea that measures about a third of an inch. The miniscule frog, (Paedophryne amanuensis) which was also discovered recently.

World's tiniest chameleon: How did it get so small?Nora Doyle-BurrChristian Science Monitor02/15/2012
Discovery of Miniaturized and Microendemic New Species of Leaf Chameleons (Brookesia) from Northern MadagascarFrank Glaw, Jörn Köhler, Ted M. Townsend, Miguel VencesPLoS one05/18/2011
World's Tiniest Frog, Paedophryne Amauensis, Found In Papua New GuineaSamantha ChanAsian Scientist01/12/2012
Miniature Chameleons DiscoveredNational Geographic
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