This Is The World’s Tiniest Snail Ever

Posted: Sep 29 2015, 6:15am CDT | by , Updated: Sep 29 2015, 8:02pm CDT, in News | Latest Science News

 
This is the World’s Tiniest Snail Ever
Credit: Adrienne Jochum

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The smallest land snail has been discovered in China. It is so small that 10 of them can fit in the eye of a needle.

The world’s smallest land snail has recently been discovered in China. The snail is so tiny that it can easily fit into the eye of a sewing needle, in fact, 10 of them can rest in this small space.

The snail is just 0.86 mm in height and is named Angustopila dominikae. The new species is given the name after the wife of lead author of the study.

The tiny snail was discovered in the soil collected around a cliff located in Chinese province Guangxi. The snail was so small that it was very difficult to spot with naked eye.

“These are very probably extreme endemic species. If we find them in more than one locality that is somewhat surprising.” Lead author Barna Pall Gergely said in a statement.

The new species was found alongside six other micro-snail species. Microsnails inhabit in the caves or on rock outcrops and were recovered from the sample of the soil.

The new snail is a “tiny, corpulent species with elongated aperture having a partial and a single palatal tooth” and its color is light grey. Angustopila dominikae is the smallest found snail so far. The previous known smallest member of the genus was Angustopila elevata which can grow anywhere between 0.92 mm to 0.99 mm in height.

Scientists are excited about this finding but they are unable to provide details about the evolution of this tiny snail yet.

“Extremes in body size of organisms not only attract attention from the public but also incite interest regarding their adaptation to their environment,” researchers write. “Investigating tiny-shelled land snails is important for assessing biodiversity and natural history as well as for establishing the foundation for studying the evolution of dwarfism in invertebrate animals.” They conclude.

The research was published in journal ZooKeys.

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