It only measures 7.9 millimeters and lives in a swamp on the island of Sumatra. It is, according to the scientists who found it, the smallest fish known so far.
The researchers cautioned that there is little prospect for the long-term survival of these animals, due to the destruction that has taken place in the Indonesian swamps.
This despite the fact that the aquatic species is kept alive in an extreme habitat, which includes contaminated water wells (with acid) in a tropical jungle.
The Paedocypris gets his main plankton food source found at the bottom of the water.
The fish has a particular physiognomy: your brain has no bone protection and the females barely have room to carry a few eggs.
The animal also has pelvic flaps with exceptionally large muscles that it uses to take the female in the sexual act.
“This is one of the rarest fish I’ve seen in my entire career. It’s tiny. It lives in acid and has these crazy flaps to grab onto its mate,” said biologist Ralf Britz of the research team.
Being so small in size, this species can survive the most extreme droughts by finding refuge in small pools in the swamp; therefore its main threat is rather human beings.
The slash and burn of tropical forests, as well as the drainage of swamps for palm oil plantations, are the main cause of destruction of its ecosystem.
However, science may have Paedocypris discovered just in timedespite the fact that many of its relatives may already be extinct.
Until the appearance of Paedocypris, the smallest fish was believed to be a species found in 2004 around Australia’s Great Coral Reef.
Source: BBC World