Just published in @PLOSONE!! Meet Mini, the newest genus of frogs from Madagascar!! With three new species: Mini mum, Mini scule, and Mini ature, because I am HILARIOUS. https://t.co/7iPKJPBkId#MiniFrogs #NewSpecies #Miniaturisation #science pic.twitter.com/hAwjfuJlA3— Mark D. Scherz (@MarkScherz) March 27, 2019
A new study by evolutionary biologist Mark Scherz and his team describe several new species of frogs from Madagascar. These frogs are less than an inch long when fully grown, so the names reflect that. Three species were given the genus Mini, and the species are now officially Mini mum, Mini scule, and Mini ature.
Scherz said he chose the names as he believes there's room for humour and wordplay in science.
"I am a big proponent of wordplay, and so far there aren't any amusing taxonomic names for reptiles or amphibians in Madagascar — the closest thing is Lycodryas cococola, a snake from the Comoro islands to the west of Madagascar, named by my colleagues a few years ago," he added.
"A fun name is valuable for outreach, and in this case we have chosen names that are actually informative about the nature of the animals; they are all diminutive frogs, among the smallest in the world."
Read about the three minis and some other new frog species at Mashable.