Researchers have made a startling discovery in northeast Georgia … the world’s smallest salamander.

Discovery of the “patch-nosed salamander” represents the first new genus of four-footed animals described in the U.S. in 50 years.

And Georgia has another new distinction.

The recent discovery helped push Georgia to number one in the nation for salamanders.

Fifty-eight species live here.

They make up one-tenth of the world’s known species.

Experts say the diversity is largely because of the state’s large size, its five physiographic regions and its share of the moisture-rich Southern Appalachians.

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