• Mon. Feb 26th, 2024

The World’s Smallest Vertebrate: The Flea Toad Discovered in Brazil


Feb 13, 2024
The smallest vertebrate in the world could be the Brazilian flea toad

In Brazil, a tiny amphibian known as the flea toad or Brachycephalus pulex has been discovered. This frog is believed to be the smallest vertebrate in the world, surpassing the previous record holder. The flea toad was first described by scientists in 2011 and is smaller than other mini frogs, with some specimens measuring only 6.45 millimeters long.

The researchers examined the gonads of adult male flea toads and found that they have vocal slits, while females do not. This discovery suggests that the species may have unique reproductive strategies compared to other amphibians.

Despite being discovered nearly a decade ago, only a limited number of flea toad specimens have been collected from their habitat on forested hilltops in southern Bahia, Brazil. Further studies are needed to better understand this elusive and fascinating species.

The study also raises questions about the possibility of even smaller vertebrates still undiscovered in the world. Could another small frog or parasitic male of a deep-sea anglerfish be the next record-holder? Only time will tell as researchers continue their search for new and exciting discoveries in the natural world.

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