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Tiny frog is world’s smallest living vertebrate

Worlds Smallest Vertebrate
Photo: Christopher C. Austin

Isn’t he adorable? It’s not that I’m infatuated with amphibians. I’m just intrigued by tiny things. Especially tiny living things.

This little guy, a member of the newly discovered species Paedophryne amanuensis, was found near Amau village in Papua, New Guinea. He’s one of the top 10 new species of 2013. At a mere 7-8 mm in length, he takes the title of “smallest living vertebrate” from a tiny Southeast Asian cyprinid fish that had held the title since 2006.

Also making the top 10 were Chondrocladia lyra, the harp or lyre sponge, discovered in the northeast Pacific off the California coast, and Cercopithecus lomamiensis, the lesula monkey, discovered in the Congo. The monkey totally cracks me up. Such a human face. And very familiar, too. I know I’ve seen this exact expression on some famous face somewhere, but I can’t place it. A bored, long-suffering Ben Stein, perhaps?

Photo: © 2013 MBARI
Photo: Maurice Emetshu

More on these and the remaining 7 species can be found on the LiveScience website.

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