World’s smallest frog discovered

January 12th, 2012 - 11:59 pm ICT by Aishwarya Bhatt  

Papua New Guinea, Jan 12 (THAINDIAN NEWS) Scientists are convinced that a 7mm frog found on the island of Papua New Guinea could be the world’s tiniest frog. The amphibian is smaller than a dime.

The animal is also regarded as the world’s smallest creature with a backbone. At 7.7mm when fully grown, the animal is smaller than the Indonesian fish which is 7.9mm. The fish, Paedocypris progenetica, was on record as the smallest of the 60,000 discovered vertebrates in the world until the discovery of the frog.

The creature has been classified and given the scientific name of Paedophryne amanuensis. The animal was found by Louisiana State University’s Professor Chris Austin who spent three months with his team on the island exploring the wildlife there. They believe there is the likelihood that other species which are smaller may be found in the future.

Austin told reporters “that, We now believe they aren’t just biological oddities, but instead represent a previously undocumented ecological guild - they occupy a habitat niche that no other vertebrate does. It was particularly difficult to locate Paedophryne amauensis due to its diminutive size and the males high pitched insect-like mating call. 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.”

Other creatures also found by the team are still under investigation.

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