World’s smallest frog found in Papua New Guinea, smallest animal with vertebrae (Photo)

By on Jan 12, 2012 in Amazing, Animals, Science, World Comments

A so-called world’s smallest frog was found in Papua New Guinea, as shown in the photo below, which is also being now considered as the smallest animal with vertebrae.

World’s ‘smallest’ vertebrate, Paedophryne amauensis
Image Credit: Christopher Austin/LSU

As noted at international news sites on Wednesday, January 11, 2012, the now being known as the smallest creature with a back bone was discovered by environmental biologist Christopher Austin in August 2009.

The tiny frog, which has a scientific name of Paedophryne amauensis, is around 7.7 millimeters long and so small that Austin, who is also a herpetologist at the Louisiana State University, needed to enlarge close-up photos to describe them.

“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.” Austin was quoted on reports.

“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.” Austin added.

According to the study, which was also published at journal PLoS ONE that day, researchers noted that the smallest known vertebrate species have simplified skeletons and are being born directly as frogs, and not passing through the tadpole stage.

Apparently, the previously known as smallest vertebrate was believed to have been a fish with a scientific name of Paedocypris progenetica, which was said to be measuring at 7.9 millimeters on its mature stage.

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