World’s smallest frog discovered

The world’s smallest frog has apparently been discovered by researchers.

It is called the Paedophryne amauensis and is only 7.7 millimeters long. The finding was announced in the PLoS One journal, which noted that it may be the world’s smallest vertebrate.

As seen in the photo, the frog fits easily on a dime.

The species was found in New Guinea, where scientists also found a slightly larger frog species – the Paedophryne swiftorum. Both were found on leaves in the jungle.

In the article, researchers noted that, “This discovery highlights intriguing ecological similarities among the numerous independent origins of diminutive anurans [frogs], suggesting that minute frogs are not mere oddities, but represent a previously unrecognized ecological guild. Such discoveries are increasingly critical in this time of global amphibian declines and extinctions.”

There are at least 11 varieties of miniature terrestrial frogs, according to researchers. Most of them live in wet leaf litter, likely because they are sensitive to the loss of moisture.

Biologists speculate that water may play a role in both large and small animals, as the smallest known extant vertebrate is another species that needs water – a fish. The Paedocypris progenetica averages 7.9 to 10.3 millimeters while the largest is the blue whale, averaging 25.8 meters.

Other recent strange scientific discoveries include insight on how a cat can drink milk without getting its whiskers and chin wet. While a dog forms its tongue into a ladle to scoop out liquids, cats are more dainty, curling their tongue under and down to touch the surface of the liquid lightly. Another? The population of planets has exploded recently, with seven new planets orbiting a star called HD 10180. Researchers have also discovered fossils of what is thought to be another species of the ancient dinosaur – the Kosmoceratops – with 15 horns on its head.