A routine expedition in Malaysia turned out to be most fruitful for a handful of scientists. In a paper, published in Zookeys, scientist point out that the tiniest snail found in Borneo is even smaller in comparison to the one found in China. They declared for the press that the tiny snail, which goes by the name of Acmella nana is so small in comparison with other species of snails that it could only be studied by using an electronic microscope.
Along with this stunning discovery, scientists have managed to catalogue an additional 47 new species of snails. The nano snail discovered in Borneo measures 0.60 millimeters in width and 0.79 millimeters in height. Scientists said that the tiny snail has very small shell and that it is thin and, to some extendt, translucent.
According to team of scientists from Malaysia and Holland, the tiniest snail found in Borneo can usually be found in forests, close to limestone deposits. The previous record-holder for tiniest snail on Earth was the Angustopila Dominikae, a specie of snail discovered in China. The snail measured 0.8 millimeters in width and 0.89 millimeters in height.
It seems that this specie of snail can only be found in areas around Borneo and the overall distribution of snails around the Malaysian island seems to vary to certain degrees. In the same study posted in the Zookeys journal, the team of biologists concluded that the Acmella nana can only be found in the southern slopes of the forest area, concentrated around the limestone deposits.
Another snail endemic to Borneo is the Diplommatina Tylocheilos and it seems to be closely related to the Acmella nana snail. Unlike the tiny snail that prefers forests filled with limestone deposits, the Diplommatina Tylocheilos only resides on mountain tops. Biologists said that this type of snail can be found at the mouth of the Loloposon Cave, situated in Mount Trusmandi. Moreover, this specie of snail seems to thrive in high places.
Among the 48 species of snail discovered on the island, it seem that 7 of them live on Mount Kinabalu. Biologists would have to get to an altitude of over 4000 meters in order to study this specie of snails.
After this amazing discovery, efforts are being done in the area of conservation. If the 48 species of snail can be found only in Borneo, their chances of disappearing in the nearby future increases. Biologists have to come up with a plan to disseminate the snail all over the world in order to reduce their chance of extinction.