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World's smallest land snail found in China

Posted on Tuesday, 29 September, 2015 | Comment icon 9 comments

How small can a snail get ? Image Credit: CC BY 2.0 kaybee07
The ridiculously miniscule snail species is so small that ten could fit inside the eye of a needle.
Measuring just 0.86mm in length, the miniature mollusks are the smallest land snails ever found and while it is just about possible to see them with the naked eye they are very difficult to spot.

"These are very probably extreme endemic species," said study co-author Barna Páll-Gergely. "If we find them in more than one locality that is somewhat surprising."

Named Angustopila dominikae after the wife of one of the study's authors, the snail was found by researchers who were collecting soil samples from the base of limestone rocks in China.
"We cannot explain their size by adaptation to the environment," said Páll-Gergely.

"For very tiny insects we can guess the evolutionary reason why they evolved like that, but in the case of snails it is much more difficult."

"The whole family of species are all very small and their common ancestor, which lived maybe 60 million years ago was also very small."

Source: The Guardian | Comments (9)

Tags: Snail, China

Recent comments on this story
Comment icon #1 Posted by freetoroam on 28 September, 2015, 18:57
Ah, how sweet. I wonder how many we have trod on with, not the easiest thing to spot.
Comment icon #2 Posted by bubblykiss on 28 September, 2015, 19:23
The fact it was not found as an isolate on a magical island is the thing that is most blowing my mind. I suppose just about nothing will predate you when they can't even begin to know that you exist.
Comment icon #3 Posted by theotherguy on 28 September, 2015, 19:35
How do you find that sort of thing? Look for a slowly moving white spot on a leaf, or sift out a handful of dirt, or what?
Comment icon #4 Posted by third_eye on 28 September, 2015, 19:53
You listen to the tall tales of the old folks that won't go away ....
Comment icon #5 Posted by KaysonMire on 29 September, 2015, 4:54
How do you find that sort of thing? Look for a slowly moving white spot on a leaf, or sift out a handful of dirt, or what? Firm believer of it being a random find as they're looking at other things in the dirt :-p
Comment icon #6 Posted by pbarosso on 29 September, 2015, 23:17
.86 of a millimeter is pretty big actually. there is no way .86mm could fit even one inside a needle eye.
Comment icon #7 Posted by DieChecker on 30 September, 2015, 2:51
.86 of a millimeter is pretty big actually. there is no way .86mm could fit even one inside a needle eye. Maybe a BIG needle?
Comment icon #8 Posted by DieChecker on 30 September, 2015, 2:52
World's smallest snail discovered in China.... ....And entire population is promptly eaten....
Comment icon #9 Posted by qxcontinuum on 30 September, 2015, 5:14
and they won't eat it?

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