New species of tiny frog is world's smallest vertebrate

January 11, 2012

Researchers have found two new frog species in New Guinea, one of which is the new smallest known vertebrate on Earth. The results are reported in the Jan. 11 issue of the online journal PLoS ONE, and the team of researchers was led by Christopher Austin of Louisiana State University.

The new smallest vertebrate species is called Paedophryne amauensis, named after Amau Village in Papua New Guinea, where it was found. The adult body size for these frogs ranges from just 7.0 to 8.0 millimeters.

According to Dr. Austin, the discovery "is of considerable interest to biologists because little is understood about the functional constraints that come with extreme body size, whether large or small". The previous smallest vertebrate was a fish, called Paedocypris progenetica, with an adult size of 7.9 to 10.3 millimeters.
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Citation: Rittmeyer EN, Allison A, Gru¨ ndler MC, Thompson DK, Austin CC (2012) Ecological Guild Evolution and the Discovery of the World's Smallest Vertebrate. PLoS ONE 7(1): e29797. doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0029797

Financial Disclosure: This research was funded by National Science Foundation grants DEB 0103794 and DEB 0743890 to AA and DEB 0445213 and DBI 0400797 to CCA. The funders had no role in study design, data collection and analysis, decision to publish, or preparation of the manuscript.

Competing Interest Statement: The authors have declared that no competing interests exist.

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About PLoS ONE

PLoS ONE is the first journal of primary research from all areas of science to employ a combination of peer review and post-publication rating and commenting, to maximize the impact of every report it publishes. PLoS ONE is published by the Public Library of Science (PLoS), the open-access publisher whose goal is to make the world's scientific and medical literature a public resource.

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