- Researchers have discovered the world’s smallest land snail in northern Vietnam.
- The size of the snail “Angustopila psammion” is only half a millimeter.
- This means that a peeled mollusk is smaller than a grain of sand.
An international research team has discovered the world’s smallest land snail so far in cave deposits from northern Vietnam. The Senckenberg Research Institute in Frankfurt said the animal measures only 0.46 to 0.57 millimeters in height. The width of the shell is 0.6 to 0.68 mm. This makes the small snail practically invisible to predators.
In its development, snail species were able to occupy a niche where there is still enough space and food. “Because of their size, they can forage for food in confined spaces as well as eat food particles that don’t matter to larger animals.” So says Adrienne Jochum, who works at the Natural History Museum in Bern and the University of Bern and at the Senckenberg Research Institute and Natural History Museum in Frankfurt am Main
The researchers reported their discovery in the journal.Contributions to zoology»
Can’t get smaller
Jochum supposes that there cannot be much smaller snails. Because it requires a certain number of neurons to make the snail work, there must also be enough space in the shell for at least one egg for the animals to be able to reproduce.
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