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In the shadow of the crisis in Crimea, Ukrainian legislators are weighing a pair of science and education bills that...
Researchers dependent on government funding would face a flat future under the White House's $3.9 trillion budget...
Reservoirs of cells that harbor HIV DNA woven into human chromosomes have become the bane of researchers trying to cure...
Geochemists have now incorporated in their models some details of the way naturally acidic rainwater dissolves rock...
Schizophrenia is a devastating mental disorder that afflicts about 1% of the world's population at one time or another...
Surface tension is a force to be reckoned with, especially if you are small. It enables a water strider to skate along...
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ScienceShot: Smaller Than a Dime, Frog Is World's Tiniest Vertebrate
11 January 2012 5:00 pm
Drop a dime in the middle of an eastern New Guinea rainforest, and you might squash a newly discovered frog species. Paedophryne amauensis has taken the top spot as the world's smallest vertebrate, with an average adult size of 7.7 millimeters in length, less than half the diameter of a U.S. dime. That beats out the former record holder, an Indonesian fish from the carp family whose females grow to about 7.9 millimeters. The new frog species lives in rainforest leaf litter, likely dining on springtails, mites, and ticks, the researchers report online today in PLoS ONE. They also discovered a second tiny frog species, Paedophryne swiftorum, in New Guinea, which grows to between 8.3 and 8.9 millimeters. Miniaturization is nothing new for frogs. The 29 smallest species all come in under 13 millimeters. The researchers propose that the repeated evolution of extreme small size in frogs, coupled with their exclusivity to moist habitats, has allowed them to exploit the nooks and crannies in the vegetation of the rainforest floor.
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