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  • The world’s smallest frog, Paedophryne amanuensis, sits on a dime along the Amau River – from which its name is derived – in Papua New Guinea. Photo Courtesy: Christopher Austin/LSU

    The world’s smallest frog, Paedophryne amanuensis, sits on a dime along the Amau River – from which its name is derived – in Papua New Guinea. Photo Courtesy: Christopher Austin/LSU
  • The world’s smallest frog, Paedophryne amanuensis, sits on a dime along the Amau River – from which its name is derived – in Papua New Guinea. Photo Courtesy: Christopher Austin/LSU

Update! World’s smallest frog leaps into another record book

The world’s smallest frog is now – according to The Guinness Book of World Records – the world’s smallest vertebrate. Officially?!

“We have consulted with one of our experts and he has confirmed the frog to be the new smallest vertebrate,” a spokesperson for the book said, in a statement to Science-Fare.com.

Paedophryne amanuensis was named the world’s smallest frog and vertebrate by the journal, PLoS One.  It’s 7.7mm, on average, from end-to-end and fits on a dime with tons of room to spare.

Almost immediately after the paper was published, it was challenged by University of Washington ichthyologist, Theodore Pietsch.   He found a male anglerfish that’s 0.8mm smaller than the smallest frog – 7.7mm is the average length – and before it, claimed the spot as the official world’s smallest vertebrate, according to the Guinness Book of World Records.

On average, the male anglerfish are 0.4mm smaller than the male frogs.

In a joint statement to Science-Fare.com and The Guinness Book of World Records, Pietsch wrote:

“I quite agree with [The Guinness Book of World Records], but only if the claim is qualified with the word “species”: the frog, at 7.0mm, represents the smallest mature vertebrate species, but the male anglerfish, at 6.2mm, clearly represents the smallest vertebrate. It’s just a fact — 6.2 is smaller than 7.0, no argument.”

The evolutionary biologist at Louisiana State University who first described the frog, Christopher Austin, wasn’t available for comment.

Check out the original story here.

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