These animals are not only cute, but also happen to be some of the smallest animals around! If you need an instant pick-me-up, or a reason to smile, keep reading about these tiny critters.
1. Madame Berthe’s mouse lemur
The Madame Berthe’s mouse lemur is not just super cute, this tiny little mammal is also a primate! There are over 20 species of mouse lemur, and this variety is the smallest of all of them. In fact, this little critter is the smallest of all primates, at just 9.2 cm long and weighing in at 30 grams. These guys dine on a diet consisting of fruits and tree gums, sugary insects excretions and are also know to consume insects and small lizards. They are only found on the island of Madagascar, and are critically endangered due to logging.
2. Etruscan Shrew
The Etruscan shrew is the smallest mammal mammal by mass- weighing only 1.8 grams. Though it is small in size, it has a huge appetite- eating up to 2 times its body weight every day! The tiny shrew has a heart rate that can reach up to 1500 beats per minute, which is faster than any other animal on the planet. The Etruscan shrew is solitary by nature, apart from during mating season. You can find these shrews in various countries across Europe, including France, Croatia, and Turkey.
3. Kitti’s hog-nosed bat
The Kitti’s hog-nosed bat is named for its pig-like nose, but that is where the similarities with a hog ends. This little bat weighs a minuscule 2 grams and is around 3 cm on average- it is nicknamed the ‘bumblebee bat’. The bats live together in small colonies of up to 100 bats, and reside in Thailand and Myanmar.
4. Pygmy Possum
Australia is well-known for its wildlife. The country is famous for their marsupial mammals, like the kangaroo and koala. The pygmy possum is a little known marsupial, however, that might be because they are so well hidden. The smallest of these possums is known as the little pygmy possum. They are found in Tasmania and Kangaroo Island.
5. Brookesia lizard nana
The first reptile to make it onto the list is so small it can easily sit atop a finger. The Brookesia lizard nana hails from Madagascar and is actually a type of chameleon, and believed to be the smallest lizard in the world. There are over 30 species of Brookesia lizard, all of which are small in size, though the nana is the smallest at 21.6 mm long.
6. Monte Iberia dwarf frog
This frog hails from the rainforests of Cuba, though good luck seeing it! These guys are only 9.5mm in length, but don’t let their size fool you! These miniature frogs pack a poisonous punch, releasing a muscle-paralyzing toxin that freezes any predators that might think about eating them. Interestingly, this frog is never a tadpole, and hatches as a fully-formed frog.
7. Dwarf three-toed jerboa
This world’s-smallest-rodent looks like a strange cross between a mouse and a kangaroo. The dwarf three-toed jerboa, otherwise known as the Baluchistan Pygmy Jerboa, are native to Pakistan, and live in desert regions. This little mammal is 5 cm long, and is an incredible jumper- thanks to its kangaroo-like legs. Fun Fact: Jerboa do not drink water, getting all of the moisture they need from the plants they eat.
8. Bee hummingbird
The beautiful bee hummingbird is named for its size, and the fact that it is commonly mistaken for a bee. These birds grow to around 6 cm and are the smallest of any bird currently on record. Like all hummingbirds, they have incredibly fast wings- their wings beat 80 times a second, which allows them to fly up to 20 hours without a break! Their heartbeat is around 1260 times a minute, which is much faster than the average humans (60-100 bpm). Everything about these birds is small, including their tiny eggs, which are around the size of a coffee bean. Their nests are also tiny- around the size of an American quarter!
9. Speckled Cape Tortoise
Compared to most species of tortoise, the Speckled Cape is remarkably small. This little one weighs in at a mighty 160 grams- compare this with the Galapagos tortoise which can reach up to 300 kg! The mating ritual of the Speckled cape tortoise involves the male and female nodding heads at each other. Very civilized!
10. Fennec fox
This little fox is the smallest of all fox species, and arguably the cutest! The Fennec fox is indigenous to North Africa, and lives in the Sahara desert. They grow to only 20 cm in height, and can weigh anywhere between 1 and 1.9 kg. Their huge ears actually help these little canids hear better, and keep them cool in the heat of the Sahara. These foxes are extremely friendly and sociable, and hang out together in groups. These foxes are also extremely committed spouses- they are monogamous and mate for life!