This cute critter, also called the bumblebee bat, is not only the smallest bat around but also a possible contender for the smallest mammal — it weighs only 2 grams and measures no more than 1.3 inches.
The hog-nosed bat is only active for 30 minutes at dusk and 20 at dawn, and even then, their short flights can be interrupted by heavy rain or cold temperatures. They survive mostly on small insects and spiders caught within half a mile of their caves.
2New Guinea Mini Frog
At less than a third of an inch long, this little amphibian isn't just the smallest frog around, it's also the smallest known vertebrate in the world. The frogs were only discovered in 2010 when scientists found them living in the leaf litter of New Guinea's rain forest. There, they eat invertebrates including mites and other tiny insects ignored by predators.
It's unsurprising they were only recently discovered, given that on top of being small and nocturnal, they're also able to able to jump 30 times their body size. Imagine trying to take a picture of one!
The smallest bird in the world, this avian also has the least amount of feathers—only 1,000 as opposed to about 25,000 on other birds. The bee hummingbird lives in the Cuban archipelago, with its territory ranging from the Isle of Youth to Cuba.
Full grown, the bird only reaches around two inches long and weighs .7 ounces. While many small animals are hard to see, this beautiful birdie makes up for its size with iridescent feathers in reds, blues and greens. During flight, the birds beat their wings an impressive 80 times a second, but that's nothing compared to the 200 times per second the males flap their wings during courtship rituals. While it might take birdwatchers a little extra time to spot these hummingbirds (they're nearly impossible to see clearly while in flight because they move so fast), the reward is certainly worth it.
The world's smallest monkey is so adorably small and fluffy; it almost doesn't look like a primate at all. Pygmy marmosets survive mostly on the sap of gum trees and insects in the Amazon rain forest. They weigh a meager 3.5 ounces and measure only 6 inches tall (not counting their long tails) when fully grown.
While the animal is not in immediate danger of extinction, many have started to worry about the growing popularity of the marmoset as a pet in locations across the globe.
5Columbia Basin Pygmy Rabbit
Rabbits are cute, but when you find a fully grown rabbit that can comfortably sit in one of your hands, that is almost too cute. As its name implies, the Columbia Basin pygmy rabbit lives in the Columbia Basin of Washington state.
Columbian Basin pygmies live in a small, confined environment and are subject to excessive inbreeding; these rabbits are not prolific breeders like most bunnies. In fact, by 2002, there were only 16 of these wild rabbits left. Luckily, the US Fish and Wildlife Service has given them protection under the Endangered Species Act because they are a distinct population segment. That allowed the Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife and the Oregon Zoo to step in and protect the critters from extinction by introducing wild Idaho pygmy rabbits to their gene pool. Since then, over 1,000 of their offspring have been released into their native environment.
6Wolf's Pygmy Octopus
There isn't much known about the world's smallest octopus. They were discovered in 1913, reside in the Indo-Pacific Ocean, are about .6 inches in length, weigh less than a gram each and the males have fringed rims on their suckers. It seems it's hard to study something so small when it lives in such a big ocean.
While the height of miniature horses varies based on the breed, most of them less than 34 inches tall at the shoulder. The smallest miniature horse on record, named Bond Tiny Tim, was only 19 inches tall.
Though they have increased in popularity in recent years, the miniature horse was first bred back in the 1600s and was once a favorite pet for nobles. They can't be ridden like their larger cousins, but mini horses still are used for a number different purposes — from horse shows to companion animals, to pulling small carts. They were even once used in coal mines since they could traverse the tunnels much easier than a full-size horse or donkey.
The average lifespan of a mini horse is longer than that of a full-sized one.
Miniature cows are gaining popularity as urban farming has become more and more prevalent. the mini cow requires less grass to feed and produces less methane while still providing a good amount of milk and meat. These miniature cattle were bred down by crossing the naturally diminutive Dexter breed with other common cattle varieties — they stand between 3 and 4 feet tall. An average cow weighs about 1390 pounds, but mini cows weigh around 650 pounds and are about a third to a half the size of their traditional cattle cousins.
Native to West Africa, this little hippopotamus is very similar to the full-sized hippo in that it relies on water to help keep it cool and moist. Pygmy hippos feed on fruits, grasses, and plant leaves and are mostly active during the day. When standing next to a normal hippo, these little guys are half as tall, weigh only a quarter of the weight of their full-sized counterparts. Visually, pygmy hippos have smaller heads and longer legs then that of the regular hippo.
Pygmy hippos were unknown outside of West Africa until they were introduced to zoos in the early twentieth century. While they have thrived in captivity, they aren't doing so well in the wild — there are fewer than 3,000 pygmy hippos left.
10Dwarf Sperm Whale
We tend to think of whales as massive beasts, but the tiniest whale is just a few feet longer than most humans are tall, measuring up to 9 feet. Of course, at 550 pounds, it is still drastically larger than humans, but that's just a drop in the bucket compared to a 45-ton male sperm whale or a 170-ton blue whale.
Tthe dwarf sperm whale is so rare that most of what we do understand about them come from corpses of whales that wash up on shore. We do know that while alive they are slow, deliberate swimmers that tend to stay motionless while at the water's surface, which is one reason they are so rarely seen. Additionally, they are known to emit a dark, red fluid from a sac in their intestinal tracts when frightened to help them escape predators.
This pint-sized antelope stands only 10-12" tall at the shoulder. Even that height is surprisingly dainty, considering they only weight about 8 pounds when fully grown — that's lighter than most house cats.
Despite their small size, they are still pretty difficult prey for the predators that live in their native West African forests. The shy antelopes are very alert and can leap eight feet in a single jump.