Top 10 Smallest Animals In The World



Top 10 Smallest Animals In The World

VOICE OVER: Rebecca Brayton WRITTEN BY: Michael Wynands
Though tiny in size, these little creatures make a big impression. For this list, we're looking at some of the most impressively tiny animals our wild and wonderful world has to offer. For the sake of diversity, we'll be looking at the smallest examples of animals from a wide variety of species, and ranking them based on the impression that their small stature makes when compared to their peers. Which of these do YOU find adorable? Or creepy, up to you! Let us know in the comments!
Top 10 Smallest Animals In The World
Though tiny in size, these little creatures make a big impression. Welcome to, and today we’ll be counting down our picks for the Top 10 Smallest Animals in the World.

For this list, we’re looking at some of the most impressively tiny animals our wild and wonderful world has to offer. For the sake of diversity, we’ll be looking at the smallest examples of animals from a wide variety of species, and ranking them based on the impression that their small stature makes when compared to their peers.

#10: Bumblebee Bat [aka Kitti’s Hog-Nosed Bat]

“Cute” isn’t the first word that comes to mind for most people when they think of bats. “Nuisance”, “vampire”, “creepy” and “EEEEKK! It’s in my hair!” are far more likely candidates. But this itty bitty little bat is small enough to make even the biggest of chiroptophobia sufferers reconsider. Also known as “Kitti's hog-nosed bat”, it is not only the smallest bat species known to man, but quite possibly the smallest mammal on earth. They’re only 1.1 to 1.3 inches in length when full grown and weigh in at a modest 2 grams. Sadly, due to habitat loss, they’re classified as vulnerable. Time to stick up for the little guy!

#9: Brookesia Micra Chameleon

Considered one of the smallest reptiles in the world, the Brookesia Micra is one seriously tiny bug-eyed critter. When full grown, from nose to tail tip, they top out at 1.2 inches in length. When they’re young, they can comfortably rest on the tip of a match head. How’s that for putting their size in perspective? Discovered sometime in the early 21st century, they’ve so far only been seen on a tiny islet of northern Madagascar, known as Nosy Hara. Should you ever visit this uninhabited piece of land, watch your step, as these little chameleons stay close to the ground during the daytime.

#8: Virgin Islands Dwarf Gecko [or Sphaero]

Another tiny reptile with a limited habitat to match! In terms of size, this little gecko manages to beat out our aforementioned chameleon by a few tenths of an inch, and weighs in at a negligible 0.15 grams. In terms of a place to call home, these geckos have only ever been spotted on three of the Virgin Islands - Tortola, Virgin Gorda and Sir Richard Branson’s Moskito Island. Discovered in the mid 1960s, this little gecko’s size makes it easy to miss, but you should you spot one, any gecko enthusiast is sure to appreciate its distinct color and atypical scaling.

#7: Pygmy Possum

Reptiles and bats aren’t your thing? So be it - but we guarantee that these little marsupials will have you cooing and looking to adopt. We currently know of five living pygmy possum species, and a number of others that have since gone extinct. These remaining species can be found spread across parts of Australia, Indonesia and Papua New Guinea, and weigh anywhere between 10 and 50 grams, with a length of 2 to 4.7 inches. Each species has something unique to separate them from their peers, be it a long tail or, in the case of the Western Pygmy possum, a tongue that’s absurdly long for its small size.

#6: Paedocypris Fish

There may be plenty of fish in the sea, but out of the over 28,000 species, there’re none smaller than this little Southeast Asian creature. When you’re talking about a fish this tiny, even the degree to which they can vary in size is minuscule. The smallest Paedocypris ever recorded… measured 0.31 inches. The largest ever found? Just over 0.4 inches. Because of their itty bitty size and slim, translucent bodies they’re often mistaken for juvenile fish of other species by untrained observers. No need to worry about the safety of such tiny fish in that big ocean though, as they actually live in peat swamps.

#5: Barbados Thread Snake [aka Leptotyphlops carlae]

If it looks like a worm and moves like a worm, surely it must be a worm? Not necessarily. This tiny snake, a member of the Leptotyphlopidae family, can be found on the island of Barbados - so the next time you see a dark-looking worm while you’re in the Caribbean, maybe take a closer look! Leptotyphlopidae is a serpent family consisting of some 87 species, but it’s L. carlae - at 4 inches in length – that’s considered the smallest snake in the world. As for thickness, well, there’s a reason they’re called “thread snakes” - they’re very slim, referred to as "about as wide as a spaghetti noodle”. Adding to the wormy confusion, they tend to burrow in search of their primary food source - insects.

#4: Denise’s Pygmy Seahorse [aka Hippocampus denise]

As if your run of the mill seahorse wasn’t already whimsical, awe-inspiring and adorable enough! Allow us to introduce you to this little wonder-creature of the sea, which is sure to make anyone jealous of Denise Tackett, after whom the species has been named. Long thought to be the young of other seahorse species due to their minuscule size and underdeveloped physical characteristics, “Hippocampus denise” was only officially discovered in 2003. Our knowledge of them is limited, but these tiny little seahorses seem to top out at 0.94 inches, and reportedly spend the entirety of their lives on a single piece of coral, into which they blend almost seamlessly.

#3: Paedophryne Amauensis

Space exploration is great and all, but as this list proves, there’s still plenty for us to discover right here on earth. Yet another example? This little frog that only came to the attention of the scientific community in 2009. Upon making itself known to the world, it actually stole the title from our aforementioned Paedocypris Fish as the smallest vertebrate on earth. Considering it measures just 0.3 inches in length at maturity, it’s little wonder that it took us so long to take notice. In addition to their uniquely tiny size, they’re also remarkable due to the fact that they hatch fully-formed, leapfrogging the tadpole phase of development most frogs undergo.

#2: Pygmy Jerboa [aka Baluchistan Pygmy Jerboa]

WHAT A CUTIE! Also known as the dwarf three-toed jerboa, this little critter looks like the world’s most adorable cartoon rodent brought to life to melt hearts. Interested in world peace? Give each man, woman, and child one of these, and everyone will just stay home cuddling them - all day, every day. Wait… why are we here again? Right… small. This thing is seriously tiny. Measuring just 1.7 inches without the tail, it’s tied with the African pygmy mouse for the title of smallest rodent. Found in Pakistan, they get around by hopping on their hind legs like a kangaroo, you know, because… adorable.

Before we unveil our top pick, here are a few honorable mentions:

Etruscan Shrew

Madame Berthe’s Mouse Lemur

Patu Digua Spider

#1: Octopus Wolfi [aka Star-Sucker Pygmy Octopus]

Have you been reduced to puddle on the floor after learning about the pygmy jerboa? Well, don’t bother pulling yourself together just yet… because this little sea creature isn’t going to make things any easier on you. Octopus Wolfi is the smallest octopus species known to mankind. Weighing in at less than 1 gram, and measuring less than an inch, it can be found in the shallow waters of the western Pacific Ocean. Like a cute kid, their small stature makes pretty much everything they do endearing, be it hunting tiny sea creatures or escaping fish tanks - which they’re apparently notoriously good at.