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:11/29/2016)... 2016   Neurotechnology , a provider ... technologies, today released FingerCell 3.0, a software ... that run on low-power, low-memory microcontrollers. FingerCell ... than 128KB of memory, enabling it to ... limited on-board resources, such as: mobile phones, ...
(Date:11/22/2016)... 2016 According to the new market research report ... Vein, Signature, Voice), Multi-Factor), Component (Hardware and Software), Function (Contact and Non-contact), ... market is expected to grow from USD 10.74 Billion in 2015 to ... 2016 and 2022. Continue Reading ... ...
(Date:11/17/2016)... , Nov. 17, 2016 Global Market Watch: ... Biobanks (Disease-Based Banks, Population-Based Banks and Academics) market is to ... for Private Biobanks shows the highest Compounded Annual Growth Rate ... region during the analysis period 2014-2020. North ... of 9.95% followed by Europe at ...
Breaking Biology News(10 mins):
(Date:12/9/2016)... 9, 2016 /PRNewswire/ - Portage Biotech Inc. ("Portage" or ... pleased to announce that Biohaven has issued today the ... Connecticut (PRWEB) Dec 9, 2016 - Biohaven ... today that the U.S. Food and Drug Administration ("FDA") ... its drug candidate BHV-0223, an orally dissolving tablet being ...
(Date:12/8/2016)... PITTSBURGH , Dec. 8, 2016  The Board ... (PLSG), Western Pennsylvania,s only ... in leadership. In accordance with the succession plan developed ... several years, effective today, James (Jim) F. Jordan ... Executive Officer, succeeding John W. Manzetti , who ...
(Date:12/8/2016)... (PRWEB) , ... December 08, 2016 , ... Lajollacooks4u, San ... a banner year for team building events, new program offerings and company expansion. ... expanded earlier this year to include groups of over 30 people. Ever since, Lajollacooks4u ...
(Date:12/8/2016)... (PRWEB) , ... December 08, 2016 , ... ... platforms, the business of innovation is taking over sports. On Thursday, December 15th ... explore how technology is disrupting the playing field at a Smart Talk session. ...
Breaking Biology Technology: