People Just Discovered The Smallest Frogs In The World
They're tinier than your fingernail.
Imagine finding something smaller than a fingernail in this lush forest of Madagascar.
“Calling males often sit one or two leaves deep and stop calling at the slightest disturbance,” Frank Glaw, a herpetologist at the Bavarian State Collection of Zoology and an author of the study, which describes and names the new species, said. “It can take a lot of patience to find the frog you are looking for.”
From the photographs, it can be hard to tell just how tiny the newly described frogs are — until they're placed on a fingertip.
That's when the little guys really earn their new names. The three new species belong to a new genus, which scientists excitedly named Mini — and they jumped at the opportunity to pun: Mini mum, Mini scule and Mini ature are the names of the new species.
“I have long wanted there to be pun-named reptile or amphibian species in Madagascar,” Mark D. Scherz, a Ph.D. candidate and lead author of the new study, wrote.
The researchers have recommended that at least two of the new tiny species get classified as critically endangered, which would help give them protections — a big leap for their kind.