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17 April 2014 12:48 pm ,
Vol. 344 ,
Officials last week revealed that the U.S. contribution to ITER could cost $3.9 billion by 2034—roughly four times the...
An experimental hepatitis B drug that looked safe in animal trials tragically killed five of 15 patients in 1993. Now,...
Using the two high-quality genomes that exist for Neandertals and Denisovans, researchers find clues to gene activity...
A new report from the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) concludes that humanity has done little to slow...
Astronomers have discovered an Earth-sized planet in the habitable zone of a red dwarf—a star cooler than the sun—500...
Three years ago, Jennifer Francis of Rutgers University proposed that a warming Arctic was altering the behavior of the...
- 17 April 2014 12:48 pm , Vol. 344 , #6181
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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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