17 Smallest (And Cutest) Animals in the World

If you’re interested in animals, you’ve come to the right place. In this article, we’re sharing 18 of the most adorable tiny creatures to inhabit our planet, from the bee hummingbird to the fennec fox. Get ready to learn all of their unique features and quirks!

Speckled Padloper Tortoise

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This tiny tortoise originally comes from South Africa and is known for its petite size, typically ranging from 6 to 10 cm in length. Speckled padloper tortoises are herbivores, enjoying a diet of various plants and flowers found in their rocky habitat. Their survival is intricately linked to the specific ecosystem of rocky outcrops where they can find food and shelter.

Paedocypris Progenetica

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The world’s smallest fish, these little cuties are found in the acidic peat swamps of Southeast Asia. They typically measure just 7.9 to 10.3 mm long, but despite their size, they have adapted to their harsh environment with a body that can withstand highly acidic water.

Barbados Threadsnake

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“Reaching a maximum adult length of only 10.4 cm (4.1 inches) and an average weight of 0.6 g (0.02 ounce), it is thought to be the world’s smallest known snake,” as per Britannica. You can spot this snake in the Caribbean if you’re lucky, but due to its limited range and specific habitat needs, conservation efforts are crucial for its survival.

Bee Hummingbird

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The bee hummingbird is the smallest bird in the world, is native to Cuba, and is no larger than 5 cm in length. It has a striking appearance with vibrant iridescent feathers that shimmer in the sunlight. These birds also primarily feed on nectar, using their long, slender beaks to access flowers.

Madame Berthe’s Mouse Lemur

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Native to Madagascar, this tiny lemur with adorable round eyes averages 92 mm in body length and weighs approximately 30 grams. They are active at night, using their large eyes to navigate and find food in the dark, mostly insects and small fruits.

Pygmy Marmoset

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Known as the finger monkey, this tiny primate from the rainforests of South America measures about 14 to 16 cm in length. Despite its size, the pygmy marmoset is known for its active and social nature. These monkeys primarily feed on gum and sap from trees, as well as insects.

Etruscan Shrew

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According to Animalia, “The Etruscan shrew (Suncus etruscus) is the smallest known extant mammal by mass, weighing only about 1.8 g (0.063 oz) on average.” This tiny animal is found across Europe and Asia and needs to eat about twice its body weight daily due to its fast metabolism.

Philippine Tarsier

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Known for their enormous eyes and tiny bodies, these primates are among the smallest in the world. They live in the dense forests of the Philippines, where they maintain a solitary, nocturnal lifestyle. Tarsiers are also carnivorous, primarily eating insects and small animals.

Denise’s Pygmy Seahorse

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This tiny seahorse from the Pacific Ocean measures just up to 2.4 cm and is an expert in blending into its coral surroundings. Aside from being minuscule and cute, they are also known for their unique reproductive habits, where males carry the embryos.

Fennec Fox

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The fennec fox is native to the Sahara Desert and uses its large ears to dissipate heat. It mainly eats insects, small mammals, and birds, and despite the harsh environment, is highly adapted to thrive in desert conditions, showing incredible resilience (and cuteness).

Long-Tailed Tit

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As shared by RSPB, “The Long-tailed Tit is easily recognizable with its distinctive blush [and] black and white coloring. It also has a tail which is bigger than its body.” They primarily feed on insects and spiders, adapting their diet seasonally to include seeds and berries, and are commonly found across Europe and parts of Asia.

Western Pygmy Blue Butterfly

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This species holds the record for the smallest butterfly in the world, with a wingspan of just over half an inch. It can be found in North America, particularly in the western and southwestern United States. You’ll recognize it by its size and its brown-blue wings.

Baluchistan Pygmy Jerboa

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This tiny desert rodent has a body length of around 4.4 cm, with hind legs significantly longer than its front legs, aiding in its remarkable jumping ability. It prefers sandy environments in parts of Pakistan and Afghanistan. Mostly nocturnal, it feeds on wind-blown seeds and small insects.

Least Weasel

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Measuring about 11 cm in length and weighing as little as 25 grams, the least weasel preys on small rodents, showing remarkable agility and strength for its size. It can be found across Eurasia and North Africa, and it has been introduced to North America.

Slender Blind Snake

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Slender blind snakes are often mistaken for worms as they’re only about 11 cm long. Widely distributed in Africa, Asia, and the Americas, they thrive in diverse environments, from rainforests to deserts. These snakes primarily feed on ants and termites, which they find in their colonies.

Brazilian Flea Toad

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“The Brazilian flea toad, or Brachycephalus pulex, was first discovered in 2011—and despite its name, it is technically a frog, not a toad,” says Smithsonian Magazine. This newly discovered species measures just under 7 mm in length and is found only in specific rainforest regions of Brazil.


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This rare marine mammal measures about five feet (150 cm) in length. Unfortunately, fewer than 30 individuals are believed to exist, primarily due to bycatch in illegal gillnet fishing. These adorable creatures are restricted to the northern part of the Gulf of California.

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