Friday, 25 January 2008

Smallest Animal

I've seen this show in the TV about biologist on research done on the smallest animal in the world. Well, any idea what is the smallest animal in this world? of coz, I don't mean microorganisms, all those invisible bacteria, viruses... What I meant is living animals, which we can observe by naked eyes.

Well, here are some data I would like to share:

Smallest insect
Adult males of the parasitic wasp Dicopomorpha echmepterygis can be as small as 139 μm long. Females are 40% larger.

Smallest amphibian
At 9.6 to 9.8 millimeters long, Monte Iberia Eleuth (Eleutherodactylus iberia) is the smallest frog, amphibian, and tetrapod.

Smallest reptile
The Jaragua Sphaero or dwarf gecko (Sphaerodactylus ariasae), a gecko in the Sphaerodactylus genus, is the world's smallest known reptile species, at 16 mm long. The species was first described in the December 2001 issue of the Caribbean Journal of Science by Pennsylvania State University evolutionary biologist Blair Hedges and University of Puerto Rico biologist Richard Thomas. The dwarf gecko is endangered and lives in Jaragua National Park in the Dominican Republic and on Beata Island (Isla Beata), off the southern coast of Hispaniola in Haiti. The species's binomial name was in honor of Yvonne Arias, the leader of the Dominican environmental group Grupo Jaragua.

Smallest bird
Well, I guess all know this right? =P ya, it is the bee hummingbird (Mellisuga helenae) is the world's smallest known bird species and the smallest known warm-blooded vertebrate. M. helenae, called the zunzún in its native habitat on Cuba and the Isle of Youth, has a mass of about 1.8 g, which is lighter than a Canadian or U.S. penny. The male is smaller than the female. Said to be "more apt to be mistaken for a bee than a bird," the hummingbird's wings beat 80 times per second and up to 200 times when mating. The bee hummingbird is said to eat half its total body mass and drink eight times its total body mass each day. Its nest is 3 cm across.

Smallest fish
The smallest known fish (and smallest known vertebrate) are part of the Paedocypris genus of Indonesia, which dwell in peat swamps and can survive extreme drought in part due to their small size (just 7.9mm long at maturity). Much of their habitat is acid water, with pH as low as 2.9. The members of the genus are thought to be highly endangered.
Male individuals of the species anglerfish Photocorynus spiniceps have been documented to be 6.2-7.3mm at maturity, and thus claimed to be a smaller species. However, these survive only by sexual parasitism and the female individuals reach the significantly larger size of 50.5mm.

Smallest mammal
The critically endangered Bumblebee Bat (Craseonycteris thonglongyai) of Thailand is the smallest mammal, at 30-40 mm in length and 1.5 to 2 g in weight, about the weight of a Canadian or U.S. dime. However, the Etruscan Pygmy Shrew is the smallest mammal by mass, though it exceeds the Bumblebee Bat in skull size.

Amazing right?! So wonderful is our living planet! =)

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