World's smallest known vertebrate

 Wpf Media-Live Photos 000 468 Overrides Tinest-Frog-New-Species-Paedophryne-Amauensis 46802 600X450 Above is the world's smallest known vertebrate, Paedophryne amanuensis. Researchers found the frog in 2010 in southern Papua New Guinea and just announced the discovery yesterday. From National Geographic:

Scientists locate the teensy animals by listening for their calls and trying to zero in on the sources of the sounds—no mean feat, since the high pitch of the calls make their sources especially hard for human hearing to locate.

(Louisiana State University biologist Christopher) Austin and graduate student Eric Rittmeyer tried four times to find the frogs before exasperatedly grabbing a big handful of leaf litter and putting it in a plastic bag.

The scientists then combed through the contents until "eventually we saw this tiny thing hop off one of the leaves," Austin said.

"World's Smallest Frog Found—Fly-Size Beast Is Tiniest Vertebrate"


  1. Smallest adult.     How small are the babies at the point when they’ve absorbed their tails?

    Instead of springtime hoards of baby toads sweeping across towns in upstate NY, you’d have a sort of black powder which sweeps across …a dollar bill.

    1. How small are the babies

      Apparently, related species hatch at 2.5mm length (they have no free-swimming tadpole stage).

      Incidentally, it’s ‘amauensis’ (after the village of Amau), not ‘amanuensis’ as above- that means something quite different.

      1. I misread it as amanuensis, originally.
        Okay, the name makes sense now. I was wondering how something so diminutive could take short hand. I thought maybe they laid their eggs in the steno pool.

  2. The comment about smallest adult above is a good one.  Here’s a  pic I took of a somewhat smaller frog (I would assume a juvenile)  in a flower that I noticed in a Buddhist monastery in  Hue Vietnam.  I thought  it was a bug until it started hopping around and stood still just long enough for the photo.

  3. You can’t trust scientists, what with all the global warming hokum. Maybe they made a giant coin to make a normal frog look tiny. Plus I don’t recall this frog being mentioned in the bible.

  4. In keeping with the principle that anything diminutive is automatically cute, my first thought on seeing this frog was “squeeeeeeeee!”

  5. I’m thinking it must be the smallest *terrestrial* vertebrate, no?  Surely there are smaller fish?

  6. Surely they’ve located a smaller backbone? I can think of a certain former MA governor in the news lately….

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