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Miniaturization has evolved repeatedly in frogs in the moist leaf litter environments of rainforests worldwide. Miniaturized frogs are among the world's smallest vertebrates and exhibit an array of enigmatic features. One area where miniaturization has predictable consequences is the vestibular system, which acts as a gyroscope, providing sensory information about movement and orientation. We investigated the vestibular system of pumpkin toadlets, (Anura: Brachycephalidae), a clade of miniaturized frogs from Brazil. The semicircular canals of miniaturized frogs are the smallest recorded for adult vertebrates, resulting in low sensitivity to angular acceleration due to insufficient displacement of endolymph. This translates into a lack of postural control during jumping in and represents a physical constraint resulting from Poiseuille's law, which governs movement of fluids within tubes.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)eabn1104
JournalScience advances
Issue number24
Early online date15 Jun 2022
Publication statusE-pub ahead of print - 15 Jun 2022


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