The smallest of the gram positive
Eubacteria are the mycoplasma. The smallest mycoplasma are as small as 50-70 nanometer
s in diameter. Mycoplasma are responsible for a form of pneumonia
(mycoplasmal pneumonia, distinct in origin from viral or other bacterial pneumonia), some sexually transmitted disease
s, and "lethal yellowing", a disease of coconut palms. Since they are often parasitic organisms, they can afford to jettison most of their metabolism
, and simply feed off the host. This allows them to be much smaller, since they do not need to synthesise amino acid
s, but simply pump them across the cell wall.
Using the scale from the largest known bacterial cell, this is an ant to the normal bacteria's mouse - 100 times smaller (10 micrometers = 10,000 nm; 10,000 nm / 100 nm = 100 fold). That is assuming a mouse is 10 cm and an ant 1mm (damn, that's a small ant!). Sooooo, we're talking about a scale range of Blue Whale (for T.namibiensis) to tiny ant (for Mycoplasma). Strangely similar to macroscopic life, therefore..