Meet Fred, the smallest new addition to the reptile house at Bristol Zoo Gardens.
Only the size of a grape (15mm long) and just four weeks old, he is one of two Bearded Pygmy Chameleons that hatched in their enclosure from eggs the size of Tic-Tac mints.
A further eight tiny eggs are being incubated, behind the scenes, in the Zoo’s Reptile House and are expected to hatch in the coming weeks.
This is just the second time the Zoo has bred Bearded Pygmy Chameleons.
Curator of reptiles and amphibians, Tim Skelton, said, “Bearded Pygmy Chameleons are a very popular species; they are remarkably small and only grow to around 3 inches (8cm) when fully grown.”
“Although not endangered, we can learn a lot from breeding and caring for these animals which will help us in our breeding efforts for more endangered species in future.”
The Bearded Pygmy Chameleon (Rieppeleon brevicaudatus) is named after the beard-like scales below its mouth. Its native habitat is sub-montane and lowland forest and shrub in Eastern Tanzania and South-eastern Kenya. They eat a variety of small invertebrate food including small crickets and flies.