World’s tiniest vertebrate

If a princess were to kiss this tiny amphibian and turn it into a person, she would have a pygmy for a prince. The torch for the world’s smallest vertebrate, a clade that includes everything with a spine from fish to birds to people, has been passed to a critter so small it can literally turn on a dime, as shown in the image above courtesy of Discovery News. One might think the smallest vertebrate would have to be a fish somewhere. But apparently these little hopping guys take the miniature cake on land and sea:

(DiscoveryNews) — Until now the smallest vertebrate was believed to be a transparent Indonesian fish known as Paedocypris progenetica that averaged about eight millimeters. The largest vertebrate is the blue whale, measuring about 25.8 meters. The little land frog Paedophryne amauensis comes in at a whopping 7.7 millimeters. The other newly discovered kind, Paedophryne swiftorum, measures a bit over eight millimeters. “It was particularly difficult to locate due to its diminutive size and the males’ high pitched insect-like mating call,” says Louisiana State University scientist Chris Austin, who discovered them.


  1. geocatherder says

    Dammit, somebody got to say “AWWWW, it’s so cute” before I did!

    It must be uber-tricky handling the little beasties. Imagine having him on your dime, trying to photograph him, and he hops! Where’d he hop to? Nobody move! Everybody check the floor! Oh, dammit, the lab floor is brown, just like the frog…

Leave a Reply