Discovered: A tiny, glowing, poisonous, singing toadlet

Roughly the size of a thumbnail, this newly discovered toadlet has some anatomical surprises.

Credit: Nunes, et al. / PLOS ONE
  • A new species of "pumpkin toadlet" is discovered skittering along the forest floor in Brazil.
  • It's highly poisonous and brightly colored, and some if its bones glow under UV light.
  • An analysis of the toadlets' chirp song helped scientists establish that it's something new.
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Evolution has robbed us of horse-sized bunnies

The size of rabbits and hares has long been evolutionarily constrained by competitors roughly their size.

Credit: zcy/Gabi Moisa/Adobe Stock/Big Think
  • Rabbits, hares, and pikas are not as varied in size as other similar animals such as rodents, which can be both far bigger and far smaller.
  • Scientists at Kyoto University examined the fossil record to figure out why.
  • They found that the smallest hoofed mammals always predict the size of the largest rabbits.
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Unusual creatures uncovered beneath an Antarctic ice shelf

The organisms were anchored to a boulder 900 meters beneath the ice, living a cold, dark existence miles away from the open ocean.

Credit: Huw Griffiths/British Antarctic Survey
  • A new study details the discovery of sessile organisms living under the Antarctic's Filchner-Ronne Ice Shelf.
  • In recent years, scientists have discovered more creatures living in environments once thought inhospitable to life.
  • It's currently unknown how these new organisms find food in such an environment, nor how plentiful they are beneath the continent's ice-blanketed coastlines.
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    Marine biologists discover 4 new types of photoreceptor

    How do these little beasties detect light anyway?

    Credit: dnz/Adobe Stock
  • The ocean is full of simple single-celled organisms that somehow follow day-night cycles.
  • Researchers have just discovered four new groups of photoreceptors that help the organisms detect light.
  • The photoreceptors may find use in studies of the human brain.
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    NOAA discovers a new, beautifully weird sea creature

    Exceptionally high-quality videos allow scientists to formally introduce a remarkable new comb jelly.

    • Gorgeous simplicity characterizes the comb jelly recently discovered by National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration Fisheries.
    • The small denizen of the deep was spotted three times beneath the waters off Puerto Rico.
    • Though it's unusual to formally identify an animal strictly based on video observations, the quality of NOAA's video made it possible in a case where there's no better alternative.
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