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Apr 3, 2019

Check Out These Adorable, Tiny Frog Species Just Discovered in Madagascar

Posted by in category: futurism

Miniaturised frogs form a fascinating but poorly understood group of amphibians. They have been exceptionally prone to taxonomic underestimation because when frogs evolve small body size they start to look remarkably similar – so it is easy to underestimate how diverse they really are.

As part of my PhD I have been studying frogs and reptiles on Madagascar, an island in the Indian Ocean that’s a little larger than mainland France. It has more than 350 frog species, giving it possibly the highest frog diversity per square kilometre of any country in the world. And many of these frogs are very small.

We have added to the knowledge of these tiny species by describing five new species as belonging to the group of frogs commonly referred to as “narrow-mouthed” frogs. The largest of them could sit happily on your thumbnail. The smallest is just longer than a grain of rice.

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