How Can This Frog Mimic Insects?

The world’s tiniest vertebrate, Paedophryne amauensis is a forest-dwelling frog. This micro amphibian was only discovered when scientists used triangulation to locate the source of an unknown animal call (they have developed calls similar to some insects). The team then began manually scooping up handfuls of leaf litter. Eventually the process worked and they spotted a tiny frog jumping around among the dirt and foliage of the forest floor.

worlds-smallest-frog
Paedophryne amauensis frog

Paedophryne amauensis lives in the tropical forests of Papua New Guinea. It uses its diminutive body size to occupy a habitat that other vertebrates are too large to take advantage of – the moist leaf litter on the forest floor is an ideal environment for the small frog, preventing its body from drying out. Unlike most frogs, they give birth to live young rather than laying frogspawn that releases tadpoles. These fully formed baby frogs are called ‘hoppers’. This micro amphibian was only discovered when scientists used triangulation to locate its calls.

Size: 7.7mm (0.3 in)

Comparison: The size of a baked bean

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