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Blink and you'll miss it. This jewel-like snail is new to science, but its days are numbered.
Find out more at http://ow.ly/vnxjM
A cybertaxonomic revision of the micro-landsnail genus Plectostoma Adam (Mollusca, Caenogastropoda, Diplommatinidae), from Peninsular Malaysia, Sumatra and Indochina
Slika
It's a shame too – a bit more time with these Lilliputian gastropods might illuminate why the irregular curves of their millimetre-scale shells flout the conventions of snail-coiling. Or why they prefer to live solely on limestone hills in Malaysia, Sumatra and Thailand. In fact, the only place on Earth you will find some of these snails is on a single limestone hill.

Limestone is necessary for cement, so unfortunately these hills' days are numbered – as are the snails that inhabit them. Ten of the 31 Plectostoma species described in the research, including the one pictured, Plectostoma laidlawi, are threatened and one of them is already extinct. They have been described as "microjewels" by paper author Thor-Seng Liew of the Naturalis Biodiversity Center in Leiden, the Netherlands.

Some estimates have it that between 20 and 75 species die out every day, many vanishing before we knew they were even there. Perhaps we can take some comfort in knowing that we met these jewel-like creatures before they disappeared – and perhaps they might become some of the tiniest candidates for cloning.

Slika



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