At only 7mm long, this tiny little frog and sit on a dime or even the tip of your pinkie with room to spare. The team at the Louisiana State University even had to enlarge a close-up photo of the frog in order to describe it. The species was first discovered in Papua New Guinea in August 2009, and is now claimed to be the world’s smallest vertebrate species. On the same expedition in Papua New Guinea, environmental biologist Chris Austin also found second small frog species, however the Paedophryne amauensis species has been declared as the world’s smallest animal with a spine.
The two new species of frogs are a significant discovery in light of the high rate of amphibian extinction. Steven J. Beaupre, a University of Arkansas scientist, has stated that “these tiny vertebrates provide a window on the principles that constrain animal design.” Austin has also said that since the frogs do not hatch out as tadpoles and start hopping around on the ground right from birth, their existence may contradict the hypothesis that evolution is linked to life in water.
If you find yourself in Papua New Guinea this year, be sure to take your Marco lens and keep your eyes open for these tiny little creatures. As with all Macro photography, you’ll need to be patient, but with a steady hand you’ll be able to capture some amazing images. Adventures in the wild can be so exciting, but whilst the large wildlife and epic landscapes usually capture our attention, remember the magic that can be found under even the smallest leaf.
Image and story courtesy of BBC News.