The smallest vertebrate on record was just discovered in the swamps of Sumatra and Borneo. Squabbling over important details ensued. Is it the smallest fish or just the shortest?

Weight also has to come into this … If a snake was longer than an elephant, would you say the elephant was smaller than the snake?

Damn good question. I will have to think about that one.

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This is all the more serious because the habitat of this fish is disappearing very fast, and the fate of the species is now in doubt.

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Huh, sounds familiar. Did you know that more than 360 new species have been discovered on Borneo in just the last ten years? When completed, the world’s largest palm oil plantation in this same area (about half the size of the Netherlands) will undoubtedly be responsible for the extinction of untold undiscovered species. Ideas to preserve this species?

Well, I think it has great potential in the aquarium trade. This fish can live in low oxygen, highly acidic peat bogs. You can keep an entire school of them in a dirty shot glass. No more need for big heavy aquariums with filters and aerators — perfect for urban dwellers in small apartments.

Another idea would be to spread the word about what the demand for vegetable oils to make biodiesel is doing to the planet.

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