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)
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