Wednesday, September 30, 2015
Smallest land snail: Angustopila dominikae breaks Guinness World Records record
BEIJING, China -- Researchers have discovered the smallest ever land snail from the base of limestone rocks in Guangxi Province, Southern China; measuring at just 0.86 mm in shell height the land snail is the tiniest ever discovered, according to the World Record Academy.
Photo: Angustopila dominikae, believed to be perhaps the world's smallest land snail species, in the eye of a sewing needle. Snails small enough to fit almost 10 times into the eye of a needle have been discovered in Guangxi province, Southern China. With their shells measuring 0.86mm in height, they are the smallest land snails ever found. Photo: Dr Barna Páll-Gergely and Nikolett Szpisjak./ZooKeys (enlarge photo)
The Guinness World Records' record for the largest known land gastropod is the African giant snail Achatina achatina, the largest recorded specimen of which measured 39.3 cm (15.5 in) from snout to tail when fully extended, with a shell length of 27.3 cm (10.75 in) in December 1978. It weighed exactly 900 g (2 lb).
Guinness World Records also recognized the world record for the largest serving of snails; it weighed 1,111Kg (2,449 lb) and was achieved by the Câmara Municipal de Loures (Loures City Council) in Portugal, on 11 July 2009. A specially designed pot measuring 3 metres (9 ft 10 in) in diameter and 1 meter (3 ft 3 in) in depth was created for the attempt, it included a scaled lid and needed six gas fires to heat it up.
The Angustopila dominikae snail – named after the wife of one of the authors of the study published in the journal ZooKeys – is just visible to the naked eye but very difficult to spot.
The seven species of record-breaking "microsnails" were discovered by the researchers while collecting soil samples from the base of limestone rocks in Guangxi province. They say it is likely they are indigenous to the area, with the most similar species living about 621 miles away in Thailand.
Barna Páll-Gergely, co-author and scientist from Shinshu university in Japan said he was excited to find the "really really tiny" snails.
It is not possible for snails to be much smaller than those discovered because the snails' organs and cells cannot be smaller and a minimum number of cells are needed for the animal to exist, he added.
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