Nana the dwarf holds the world record
(Mirror Daily, United States) – Borneo sets a new record with the beautiful, minuscule Acmella Nana, as world’s new tiniest snail is not even 1 mm.
The new discovery was made by the joint efforts of both Dutch and Malaysian biologists, who stumbled upon it in Malaysian Borneo. Their find is actually bigger than we think. They didn’t just discover this tiny guy, but also 47 other snail species, of many different sizes.
They called it the Acmella Nana, nana meaning dwarf in Latin. It has a small, but beautifully coiled shell which is about half a mm wide and 0.60 to 0.79 mm high.
Some of the 48 types of snails found belong to a widespread group of snails pertaining to the Borneo region, researchers have been studying for decades, but that they had not yet named in any way. But others were completely unknown to them due to the fact that they inhabited remote areas, difficult to reach by people. Seven of these species were found in Mount Kinabalu, for example, which is 4.095 meters high. Others were found at the entry point of a cave called the Loloposon Cave, barely accessible, in Mount Trusmandi.
This small fellow, our new record holder, is one of these remote species. They are so tiny and they move at such low speeds that they usually get stuck in some very small habitat areas. Not being able to go anywhere further from there, they adapt to that particular area and they evolve in order to do so. What’s fascinating about this and also extremely important is that they are able to do so without being disturbed by external factors.
This means that scientists were given a great window into the study of endemic species and their ascension on the evolutionary scale.
The snails found belong to a species called the Diplommatina tylocheilos and their discovery is based on 25 years of research and study by the team. However, if the fact that they live in such small and remote areas represents an ideal condition for the biologists, it’s also a threat. They draw our attention to the fact that this could mean a single forest fire, for example, might kill off this entire species.
The previous record holder for the title of the world’s smallest snail belonged to a Chinese one, called Angustopila dominikae, which was around 0.80 mm. It was announced earlier this year, but it has already lost its crown to the Acmella Nana.
Image Source: www.sci-news.com