Navigation Links
LSU professor discovers world's tiniest vertebrate
Date:1/11/2012

BATON ROUGE LSU's Chris Austin recently discovered two new species of frogs in New Guinea, one of which is now the world's tiniest known vertebrate, averaging only 7.7 millimeters in size less than one-third of an inch. It ousts Paedocypris progenetica, an Indonesian fish averaging more than 8 millimeters, from the record. Austin, leading a team of scientists from the United States including LSU graduate student Eric Rittmeyer, made the discovery during a three-month long expedition to the island of New Guinea, the world's largest and tallest tropical island.

"It was particularly difficult to locate Paedophryne amauensis due to its diminutive size and the males' high pitched insect-like mating call," said Austin. "But it's a great find. New Guinea is a hotspot of biodiversity, and everything new we discover there adds another layer to our overall understanding of how biodiversity is generated and maintained."

Austin, curator of herpetology at LSU's Museum of Natural Science and associate professor of biological sciences, is no stranger to discovering new species, having described numerous species previously unknown to science, including frogs, lizards and parasites.

These most recent species descriptions, which will be published in PLoS ONE on Jan. 11, highlight an interesting trend among the discovery of extremely small vertebrates. The research was supported by the National Science Foundation.

"The size limit of vertebrates, or creatures with backbones, is of considerable interest to biologists because little is understood about the functional constraints that come with extreme body size, whether large or small," said Austin.

With more than 60,000 vertebrates currently known to man, the largest being the blue whale with an average size of more than 25 meters (75 feet) and the smallest previously being a small Indonesian fish averaging around 8 millimeters, there was originally some thought that extreme size in vertebrates might be associated with aquatic species, as perhaps the buoyancy offers support and facilitates the development of extremism. However, both new species of frogs Austin described are terrestrial, suggesting that living in water is not necessary for small body size.

"The ecosystems these extremely small frogs occupy are very similar, primarily inhabiting leaf litter on the floor of tropical rainforest environments," said Austin. "We now believe that these creatures aren't just biological oddities, but instead represent a previously undocumented ecological guild they occupy a habitat niche that no other vertebrate does."


'/>"/>

Contact: Ashley Berthelot
aberth4@lsu.edu
225-578-3870
Louisiana State University
Source:Eurekalert

Related biology news :

1. National Science Foundation grants Clemson professors award to develop nanoprobes
2. University professor stresses links between US Navy sonar and whale strandings
3. Minnesota ecology professor wins international award for biodiversity and biofuels research
4. NJIT professors research suggests changes in underwater data communications
5. 2 Alexander von Humboldt professorships go to LMU Munich
6. Top biophysics award to Professor Ray Norton
7. University of Leicester professor adds new perspective to rainforest debate
8. NJIT professor finds engineering technique to identify disease-causing genes
9. Chemistry professor 1 of only 3 at UH to achieve prestigious AAAS status
10. Florida professor creates endowment for insect scientists
11. Dinner, lecture series to honor legacy of distinguished UH professor
Post Your Comments:
*Name:
*Comment:
*Email:
(Date:12/16/2016)... Dec 16, 2016 Research and Markets has ... - Global Forecast to 2021" report to their offering. ... The biometric vehicle ... at a CAGR of 14.06% from 2016 to 2021. The market ... projected to reach 854.8 Million by 2021. The growth of the ...
(Date:12/15/2016)... , Dec. 15, 2016 Advancements ... experience, health wellness and wellbeing (HWW), and ... in three new passenger vehicles begin to ... gesture recognition, heart beat monitoring, brain wave ... facial monitoring, and pulse detection. These will ...
(Date:12/8/2016)... , Dec. 8, 2016  Singulex, Inc., the ... Counting technology, entered into a license and supply agreement ... science. The agreement provides Singulex access to Thermo Scientific ... Europe is used to diagnose systemic bacterial ... States to aid in assessing the risk ...
Breaking Biology News(10 mins):
(Date:1/19/2017)... , Jan. 19, 2017  ArmaGen, Inc., today ... , Ph.D., as chief executive officer, as well ... Dr. Schmidt brings to ArmaGen more than 17 years ... and development of biotherapeutics and pharmaceuticals. ... the diverse experience and skillset necessary to lead ...
(Date:1/19/2017)... ... January 18, 2017 , ... The American ... to update its Data Sharing Policy. Specifically, the nation’s leading informatics experts, said ... to the existing policy. AMIA recommended that NIH earmark funding for researchers to ...
(Date:1/19/2017)... Staten Island, NY (PRWEB) , ... January 19, 2017 , ... ... expand at an exponential rate. The tremendous growth is accounted to two main ... to the table and the expanding network of vendors supplying FireflySci products all around ...
(Date:1/19/2017)... Jan. 18, 2017 The global biotechnology ... 92.9 billion by 2025, according to a new ... has been adaptive of the function of outsourcing ... 2002. Among the services outsourced, clinical trial management ... Johnson & Johnson was the first pharmaceutical company ...
Breaking Biology Technology: