World's smallest snail fits in the eye of a needle

The world's smallest snail species has been discovered in southern China, and it is small enough that its shell fits in the eye of a needle. The snail species has been named Angustopila dominikae, and researchers determined the discovered snail is an adult, not a juvenile. Its shell measures a mere 0.03 inches from one side to the others. Half a dozen other species were also discovered, though they aren't as small.

The new snails were detailed in a study in Zookeys. It seems only the snail's shells were discovered, though, so there's no images of tiny critters. The shells were found at the base of a limestone cliff just north of Vietnam; they were located in the soil.

The researchers are left in a mystery when it comes to the newly discovered snails' diet and habits. However, due to the small size, researchers believe these tiny snails feed on fungal filaments and bacteria, mostly due to the relative lack of food sources small enough for them to eat.

Interestingly enough, the snails may lodge air bubbles in their shells so they can float when it rains, and they may be able to slip into the small cracks in rocks to avoid predators. It is assumed they'd hermaphroditic like other snails in the region.

SOURCE: Newsweek