Look at his little leg! Look at that guy holding the frog’s little leg! Awwwww!
Brachycephalus, the genus that this adorable tiny frog belongs to, was first discovered in 1842, but most of its species have only been discovered pretty recently. The world was forced to wait on this frog, and six other frogs like it, because it’s hard to hike up into the mountains of Brazil, because each species occupies only a specific patch of ground on a specific mountain top, and presumably because who could photograph something that was scowling at them like that?
He’s so grumpy!
The fact that these things are only about one centimeter long, as adults, means that they don’t easily stand out. It also means that they only have two tiny little toes, and one tiny little finger, with which they are flipping us the world’s tiniest bird.
As well they should. The fact that these animals are found only in small areas mean that the destruction of that habitat would wipe them out forever — and humans aren’t good at leaving habitats intact. Scientists are hoping that the discovery of these animals (and the fact that they’re adorable) might help people prioritize keeping their habitats unchanged, and make us hesitate before we go into new territories. We don’t know if there are more of these guys.