Longevity inCalumma parsonii, the World's largest chameleon

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Abstract

Large body size of ectothermic species can be correlated with high life expectancy. We assessed the longevity of the World's largest chameleon, the Parson's chameleon Calumma parsonii from Madagascar by using skeletochronology of phalanges taken from preserved specimens held in European natural history museums. Due to the high bone resorption we can provide only the minimum age of each specimen. The highest minimum age detected was nine years for a male and eight years for a female, confirming that this species is considerably long living among chameleons. Our data also show a strong correlation between snout-vent length and estimated age.

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