Tiny living has taken on a whole new meaning with the discovery of a new mollusk in China. The world’s tiniest land snail, also known as Angustopila dominikae, was found in Guangxi Province, China. The little guy takes residence in a spiral shell smaller than one millimeter. That’s so tiny that it fits snugly inside the eye of a needle.
The hardly noticeable micro-snail is barely visible to the naked eye, looking like a little white textured fleck. Researchers discovered the tiny snail while collecting and sampling soil from limestone rocks in Guangxi province, and noticed the organism once back at the lab. Measuring only 0.86 millimeters in height, the snail is thus far the smallest land snail ever found. The snail itself can not only fit inside the eye of a standard sewing needle, but could join 10 of its friends standing in a line inside the eye of the needle.
Angustopila dominikae are believed to be from a species originating 60 million years ago, with little evidence that it had evolved to a smaller size over the years. The Angustopila dominikae snails, named after the wife of one of the founding researchers, is part of a group of snails under .2 inches called microgastropods. Researchers believe this little guy is the smallest of its kind, since snails need a minimum number of cells to exist.
Via The Guardian