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Monday, January 23, 2012

World’s smallest frog found in the forest of Papua New Guinea

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Researchers Chris Austin and his colleagues of Louisiana Sate University have discovered a new frog species in the tropical forests of Papua New Guinea which is said to be the smallest vertebrate ever found.
The newly discovered frog measures just 7.7mm in length from nose to butt. It has red and black spots on its body.

The new frog species was discovered while Chris Austin and his colleagues were on a three-month long field trip to the Pacific island. According to the scientist, as per the reports the new frogs inhabit leaf-litter found on the floor of the tropical rain forest.
The miniature frogs newly discovered by the U.S. scientists are named as Paedophryne amanuensis. This title has been taken over from the title of the smallest vertebrate an acidic swamp dwelling fish from Indonesia which was called as Paedocypris progenetica.
A report in Live Science revealed that the ecology of these miniature frogs is yet to be studied by the scientists. However, it has been reported that they probably eat small invertebrates (animals without back bone) living in the leaf litter.

Frogs remain camouflaged among leaves of the forest floor. They have evolved calls that resemble those of insects. So it is hard to spot frogs in the forest litter. It is reported that the frogs of New Guinea are incredibly loud at night. Chris Louisiana has been reported to say that his team tried to record the sound of those tiny frogs for which they triangulated to where those calls were coming from and for this they looked through the leaf litter also.

The scientists grabbed a handful of leaf litter and kept it in a plastic bag. And it was from the plastic bag that tiny frogs came out. BBC reports that that the Paedophryne genus was identified recently and it consists of a number of tiny species found in different segments of eastern region of the forest of Papua New Guinea.

Earlier, the title of “the world’s smallest frog” was bestowed on the Brazilian golden frog(Brachycephalus didactylus). Until now, the smallest vertebrate has been a fish. The male angler fish of Photocorymus spiniceps is just over 6mm long. Species like this smallest vertebrate can also be found in Madagascar.
Key Words: smallest frog, Papua New Guinea, Louisiana,
Image Credit : womansindia.com

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