A flea toad sits on 1 Brazilian real (coin diameter is 27 mm).

Renato Giga

A tiny pea-sized Brazilian frog could pose a threat to the current record holder. The world’s smallest phrase.

Flea toad Brachycephalic plexusWhich is actually a species of frog, was first described by scientists in 2011. shortly after, Mirko Sole The State University of Santa Cruz in Brazil wondered if this species could be the smallest amphibian ever discovered. But only a handful of specimens were collected from the frogs’ only known habitat, on two forested mountaintops in southern Bahia, Brazil. And their gonads were not examined, which is necessary to confirm whether they are mature.

Soule and his colleagues measured the body length of 46 toads, confirming the maturity and sex of the frogs by examining their gonads and the presence of vocal cords in their throats, which only males have. .

Adult B Plex Males are on average over 7 mm long, slightly shorter than females. This makes them smaller than men. Pedophryn amensisA frog from Papua New Guinea that has hitherto been considered both. Smallest amphibian and smallest vertebrate.

“It’s pretty clear,” says. Mark Shears At the Natural History Museum of Denmark in Copenhagen. “These are actually possibly the world’s smallest extant frogs, which is surprising.”

It’s not just the average size that’s startling, but how small these flea toads can be compared to other small frogs — illustrated by the smallest specimen in the study. “It is 6.45 mm. [long]which is 30 percent smaller than any adult male frog I’ve ever seen,” says Shears. “It’s about a millimeter smaller than the next smallest frog.”

At such a small scale, frogs develop strange anatomical features, such as missing fingers or underdeveloped ears. They can’t listen to their boys’ songs. Some species Can hardly jump. Because their balance organs are very weak.

Even so, there may be smaller vertebrates that have yet to be discovered, says Soule.