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These Newly Discovered Itty-Bitty Frogs Are Smaller Than A Centimeter

(Muffled squeal.)

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After years of expeditions to Brazilian mountains, scientists recorded seven new species of petite frogs.

Luiz Fernando Ribeiro / CC BY SA / Via eurekalert.org

Scientists unveiled the latest additions to the Brachycephalus frog group of 21 species, which now totals 28, according to the study reported in PeerJ.

All of the frogs are less than 1 centimenter (about 0.3 inches) long and vary in coloration and skin roughness. They have fewer digits than most frogs, too, clocking in at two fingers and three toes compared to a frog's typical four fingers and five toes.

The genus' diversity may be quite underestimated: The first time the species was documented was 1824, but more than half have been named in the last 15 years.

Their bright colors suggest the presence of a potent neurotoxin called tetrodotoxin.

Ribeiro et al. / Via peerj.com

Despite their brightness, the hardest part was actually locating the tiny fellows. The researchers heard the frogs singing long before they were visible, they told BBC News. "Because once you get closer, just from the vibration in the ground, they keep silent for, say, 20 minutes or half an hour. And then you have to go through the leaf litter very carefully with your hands," professor Marcio Pie told BBC News.

Science Writer

Contact Kasia Galazka at kasia.galazka@buzzfeed.com.

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