Ecological guild evolution and the discovery of the world's smallest vertebrate
Living vertebrates vary drastically in body size, yet few taxa reach the extremely minute size of some frogs and teleost fish. Here we describe two new species of diminutive terrestrial frogs from the megadiverse hotspot island of New Guinea, one of which represents the smallest known vertebrate species, attaining an average body size of only 7.7 mm. Both new species are members of the recently described genus Paedophryne, the four species of which are all among the ten smallest known frog species, making Paedophryne the most diminutive genus of anurans. This discovery highlights intriguing ecological similarities among the numerous independent origins of diminutive anurans, suggesting that minute frogs are not mere oddities, but represent a previously unrecognized ecological guild. © 2012 Rittmeyer et al.
Publication Source (Journal or Book title)
Rittmeyer, E., Allison, A., Gründler, M., Thompson, D., & Austin, C. (2012). Ecological guild evolution and the discovery of the world's smallest vertebrate. PLoS ONE, 7 (1) https://doi.org/10.1371/journal.pone.0029797