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In spite of its minute size, the ferreret (Alytes muletensis) caused one of the greatest sensations ever  in  natural research. Until the year 1977 nobody even knew something like the ferreret had ever existed.

  

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It  all  began  with  the  discovery  of  the  remains of fossilized bones in a cave in the Tramuntana mountains in Mallorca. These remains were of an amphibian  which inhabited the  island thousands of  years  before the arrival of the first humans. Together with other remains found in other sites, researchers were able to describe  a  new  species of fossil. But what they didn’t  know  was  that  this  species  still existed, and the  inhabitants  of  the Serra de Tramuntana were familiar with it.
Years later, scientists discovered tadpoles and adult specimens of this same species.

Without a doubt, this was one of the most important discoveries of its kind in Europe of the last 25 years. So interesting is the ferreret that not long ago, the famous British writer and presenter Sir David Attenborough travelled to Mallorca in order to shoot some footage of this toad for a BBC documentary on amphibians of the world.

Ferreret population in Mallorca in 2009 reached a record high, with nearly 40,000 larvae recounted.

 ferreret-3

In spite of its minute size, the  ferreret  cau-
sed  one  of  the greatest  sensations  ever  in
natural  research.  Until  the  year  1977  nobody
even    knew    something  like  the  ferreret  had
ever existed.