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World's Smallest Vertebrate: Tiny Frogs Discovered in New Guinea
2 years ago

ScienceDaily (Jan. 11, 2012) LSU's Chris Austin recently discovered two new species of frogs in New Guinea, one of which is now the world's tiniest known vertebrate, averaging only 7.7 millimeters in size -- less than one-third of an inch. It ousts Paedocypris progenetica, an Indonesian fish averaging more than 8 millimeters, from the record. Austin, leading a team of scientists from the United States including LSU graduate student Eric Rittmeyer, made the discovery during a three-month long expedition to the island of New Guinea, the world's largest and tallest tropical island.

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"It was particularly difficult to locate Paedophryne amauensis due to its diminutive size and the males' high pitched insect-like mating call," said Austin. "But it's a great find. New Guinea is a hotspot of biodiversity, and everything new we discover there adds another layer to our overall understanding of how biodiversity is generated and maintained."

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Austin, curator of herpetology at LSU's Museum of Natural Science and associate professor of biological sciences, is no stranger to discovering new species, having described numerous species previously unknown to science, including frogs, lizards and parasites.

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The research, which will be published in PLoS One, on Jan. 11, includes a second species of diminutive frog newly named Paedophryne swiftorum that is only slightly larger than Paedophryne amanuensis, averaging only about 8.5 millimeters in body size.

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Austin's work, supported by the National Science Foundation, highlights an interesting trend among the discovery of extremely small vertebrates.

"The size limit of vertebrates, or creatures with backbones, is of considerable interest to biologists because little is understood about the functional constraints that come with extreme body size, whether large or small," said Austin.

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With more than 60,000 vertebrates currently known to man, the largest being the blue whale with an average size of more than 25 meters (75 feet) and the smallest previously being the small Indonesian fish averaging around 8 millimeters, there was originally some thought that extreme size in vertebrates might be associated with aquatic species, as perhaps the buoyancy offers support and facilitates the development of extremism. However, both new species of frogs Austin described are terrestrial, suggesting that living in water is not necessary for small body size.

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"The ecosystems these extremely small frogs occupy are very similar, primarily inhabiting leaf litter on the floor of tropical rainforest environments," said Austin. "We now believe that these creatures aren't just biological oddities, but instead represent a previously undocumented ecological guild -- they occupy a habitat niche that no other vertebrate does."

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http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2012/01/120111223352.htm

Very interesting, Teresa! Here's another one.
2 years ago
Tiny Frog Discovered Living Inside Carnivorous Plants
Tiny Frog Discovered Living Inside Carnivorous Plants
  • Scientists in Borneo have discovered a new species of frog, and think that it may be one of the world’s smallest.

Although the frog, Microhyla nepenthicola, is no bigger than the size of pea when fully grown, it lives fearlessly inside and around carnivorous pitcher plants in Malaysian rain forests.

The tiny amphibian was officially introduced to the world on Wednesday, but researchers say that they have been hiding in plain view for more than a century.

“I saw some specimens in museum collections that are over a hundred years old,” co-discoverer Indraneil Das said in a statement.

Originally, many scientists thought that the frogs were simply juveniles of other species, but now realize they are actually adults of this newly discovered microspecies.

Despite its tiny size, the frog produces a loud, distinct croak, which is why scientists were finally able to locate it.

“You often get tiny frogs making quite a noise,” said Robin Moore, a herpetologist who was not involved in the discovery told NationalGeographic.

Moore is heading a Conservation International project to rediscover a hundred species of “lost” amphibians that have been declared extinct within the past decade.



Read more: http://www.care2.com/causes/tiny-frog-discovered-living-inside-carnivorous-plants.html#ixzz1jO0ejIzn
And here's their pictures Teresa from New Guinea.
2 years ago

       

These are images of specimens of Paedophryne dekot (A) and (, and P. verrucosa (C), and (D). (Credit: Photos by Fred Kraus)  And that little frog on the penny is too cute too Lynn.
2 years ago

Interesting, and great news new fur froggies. Thanks fur posting pals

2 years ago

Cool!  Ribbit Ribbit!

2 years ago

Thanks for the article.

Baby frogs
2 years ago

 

No conozco el nombre de esta rana, pero la fotografía es tan adorable que no he podido hacer otra cosa que compartir con vosotros la imagen de estos bebés rana para vuestro disfrute.

2 years ago

 

Choerophryne sp. nov, was discovered by Stephen Richards who followed its soft call into a muddy gully. He almost escaped detection but gave one 'cricket like call' too many. Note its needle like nose and its minute size compared to the thumb (New Guinea).

2 years ago

Aw, they're so cute and tiny. Gracias, Martine!

Paedophryne amauensis
2 years ago

 

 

Dwarfed by a dime, Paedophryne amauensis inhabits New Guinean rain forests.

 

Me hace mucha gracia tu pequeña ranita, Lynn. Es absolutamente adorable.

 

 



This post was modified from its original form on 19 Jan, 22:33
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