The 14 Smallest Animals in the World

Written by AZ Animals Staff
Published: April 29, 2021
Written by AZ Animals Staff
Published: April 29, 2021


You may be wondering what are the world’s smallest animals. There are dwarf animals in almost every breed. This list does not focus on those fantastic animals. Instead, it focuses on animals around the world who are only designed to get that big. In order to include various animals, this list focuses on the smallest animals in the world from different popular animals .

#14 World’s Smallest Animals: Rhinoceros – 1,320-to-2,000 Pounds

Smallest Animals: RhinocerosSmallest Animals: Rhinoceros
The Sumatran Rhinoceros is the smallest and hairiest rhinoceros, and is also critically endangered.

The Sumatran rhinoceros is the smallest rhinoceroses in the world. These rhinoceros live on the Indonesian islands of Sumatra and Borneo. Its territory has been highly fragmented, and only two breeding pairs have been reported in the last 15 years because animals cannot reach each other to breed.

While being the smallest known rhinoceros, they are far from tiny animals. They weigh between 1,320 –and- 2,090 pounds. Sumatran rhinoceroses stand between 3.5-and-5-feet tall and are between 6.5-and-13-feet long.

Learn more about Sumatran rhinoceros.

#13 World’s Smallest Animals: Cows – 286 Pounds

Smallest Animals: Cows
The tiny gentle Vechur cows were so greatly valued that at one time well wishers presented them as wedding gifts

The smallest breed of cow is the Vechur. These cows became almost extinct in India, where farmers once prized them for the amount of milk they would give compared to the amount of food they ate.

Both cows and bulls have short horns that curve backward. Cows weigh about 286 pounds when mature. They stand about 35 inches tall at the shoulders.

Learn more about cows.

#12 World’s Smallest Animals: Wild Pigs – 7 to 12 Pounds

Smallest Animals: Wild Pigs
The critically endangered pygmy hog at the pygmy hog conservation center, situated at Guwahati in the state of Assam in India.

Head to the wet grasslands in the southern Himalayan foothills at Manas National Park near Assam, India, to see the world’s smallest wild pigs. Called wild pygmy hogs, these animals seldom grow to be over 10 inches high and are about 19 inches long. They weigh from 7-to-12 pounds. Despite their small size, males look especially tough since you can see their upper canines when their mouth is closed. They live on a diet of roots, tubers, insects, rodents, and small reptiles, which they forage at night.

Learn more about pigs.

#11 World’s Smallest Animals: Chicken – 8-to-19 Ounces

Smallest Animals: Chicken
The Serama bantam chicken is a very friendly little chicken that are very easy to handle.

The world’s smallest chicken is the Serama, a true bantam as breeders did not breed it down from larger birds. These chickens seldom grow to be over 10-inches tall. The heaviest ones weigh less than 19 ounces, but many do not grow to be more than 8 ounces. They will lay between four-and-six eggs per week. Many breeders love this animal because the smallest ones will hatch in just 17 days, compared to 21 days for the average chicken.

Learn more about chickens.

#10 World’s Smallest Animals: Rabbits – 0.827-to-1.102 Pounds

Smallest Animals: Rabbits
The Columbia Basin pygmy rabbit are the only rabbits in the United States that dig their own burrows.

The world’s smallest rabbit is the Columbia Basin pygmy rabbits. Officials with the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Services were fearful that this rabbit would go extinct, so they took 14 of them to the Oregon Zoo, where they would be safe. This breed lives in sagebrush. During the winter, they dine almost exclusively on the brush, but their diet is more varied during warmer months. These rabbits may give birth once a year to two to six kits.

The Columbia Basin pygmy rabbits weigh between 0.827 and 1.102 pounds and are less than 11 inches long.

Learn more about rabbits.

#9 World’s Smallest Animals: Tortoise – 3.3-to-5.8 Ounces

Smallest Animals: Tortoise
The speckles on the Speckled Dwarf Tortoise shell help them have a a bit of camouflage in the rocky areas they inhabit.

Speckled Dwarf Tortoise is the smallest tortoise in the world. It lives on Little Namaqualand, South Africa. This tortoise weighs from 3.3-to-5.8 ounces, with females being slightly bigger than males. It feeds on small succulents growing amid the rocky outcroppings. The population of speckled dwarf turtles is declining because pet traders have removed them from their natural habitat. Yet, they do not adapt well to their diet in captivity.

Learn more about tortoises.

#8 World’s Smallest Animals: Monkeys – 3.5 Ounces

Smallest Animals: Monkeys
The Pygmy marmoset has fingernails that are like claws to help them climb up and down trees.

The world’s smallest monkey is the finger pygmy marmoset. These monkeys who live in the Amazon rainforest weigh about 3.5 ounces. They live in troops of two-to-nine individuals. This monkey’s body is usually between 4.6-and-6.0-inches long, but its tail can be up to 9 inches long. This brownish monkey has a black ring on its tail.

It uses its sharp nails to climb trees. Then, it uses its specialized incisors to remove gum sap from the tree.

Learn more about finger pygmy marmosets.

#7 World’s Smallest Animals: Lemur – 1.2 ounces

Smallest Animals: Lemur
Madame Berthe’s mouse lemur (Microcebus berthae), the smallest primate in the world, in Kirindy Mitea National Park, Madagascar.

Madame Berthe’s mouse lemur is the smallest known living primate as it weighs typically 1.2 ounces. The only place that it lives is in a 12-mile-square area of southern Madagascar. This lemur’s body is between 3.5-and-4.3-inches long while its tail is not quite 5-inches long. It weighs about an ounce. Its enormous eyes for its body size are specially equipped for foraging at night. They live most of their lives in trees about 32 feet off the ground, where they dine on a sugary substance secreted by the insect larvae.

Learn more about lemurs.

#6 World’s Smallest Animals: Rodents – 0.13 Ounces

Smallest Animals: Rodents
The Baluchistan pygmy jerboa has short front feet and four times longer hind feet which are designed for hopping.

The world’s smallest rodent is the Baluchistan pygmy jerboas. This rodent weighs about 0.13 ounces. Its body is about 1.7-inches long while its tail is often 3-inches long. It lives in sandy areas in Pakistan and Afghanistan.

The back legs on the Baluchistan pygmy jerboas are much longer than the front legs. Its back legs have five toes, but the middle three are fused. This nocturnal animal eats seeds. They do not drink water directly. Instead, they get enough through the insects that they consume.

Learn more about jerboas.

#5 World’s Smallest Animals: Birds – 0.07 Ounces

Smallest Animals: Birds
Bee hummingbirds are thought to have the 2nd fastest heartbeat of all animals in the world

The world’s smallest bird is the bee hummingbird. This Cuba native measures 2.5-inches long. They weigh less than 0.07 ounces. Their nest is about the size of a quarter, and their eggs are about the size of a coffee bean. Their wings move up to 80 times a second when they fly, but that increases to more than 200 times a second when they are performing their mating ritual.

Learn more about hummingbirds.

#4 World’s Smallest Animals: Bats – 0.07 Ounces

Smallest Animals: Bats
Bumblebee bats live on very small insects, that it locates with echolocation.

Kitti’s hog-nose bat, also called the bumblebee bat, is the world’s smallest bat. It is also the world’s smallest mammal in length. This reddish-brown bat has a hog-like snout, which it uses to feed on flying ants and small flies in its native territory of western Thailand and areas of Myanmar.

This bat weighs about 0.07 ounces. These bats are about 0.75-inches long. This tiny bat excites biologists because it may be undergoing a speciation process. During this process, those bats in Myanmar would become a separate species than those found in Thailand. It is a process that biologists seldom get to observe.

Learn more about bats.

#3 World’s Smallest Animals: Fish – Less than 0.07 Ounces

Smallest Animals: Fish
The world’s smallest fish is the Paedocypris progenetica and was only discovered in the last decade.

Paedocypris progenetica from Sumatra, an island in Indonesia, is one of the world’s smallest fish. This member of the carp family is less than 0.40-inches long, with females usually being less than 0.3-inches long. This fish has an uncovered rudimentary brain.

This fish lives in water that has extreme acidity. Biologists are afraid that this fish may go extinct by 2040 because of the expansion of palm oil plantations in the area.

Learn more about fish.

#2 World’s Smallest Animals: Shrews – 0.063 Ounces

Smallest Animals: Shrews
A macro closeup shot of the smallest mammal in the world, known as Etruscan shrew, lying on a decaying log

Many shrews are among the smallest animals globally, but the Etruscan shrew is the smallest of them all. This shrew tips the scale at 0.063 ounces. Its body is about 1.6-inches long while its tail can be up to 1.25-inches long. You can find them in Europe and North Africa along with on the Maltese Islands.

They eat about twice their body weight in insects daily. It uses tiny whiskers near its mouth to hunt for food at night. Its heart beats up to 1,511 beats per minute. Coupled with its low body weight, it must constantly be moving and eating to avoid hyperthermia, despite living in some of the hottest areas on earth.

#1 World’s Smallest Animals: Frogs – 0.0001 Ounces

Smallest Animals: Frogs
The Paedophryne amauensis are nocturnal and live on the floor of the forest.

The world’s smallest frog is the Paedophryne amauensis. This frog that is a native of Papua New Guinea, measures about 0.3 inches long or about the size of a housefly. It weighs about 0.00455 ounces. Discovered in 2011, it is also one of the world’s smallest vertebrates. These frogs that live in thick piles of grass in tropical forests eat tiny insects. It weighs just 0.0001 ounces.

Learn more about frogs.

The world is full of amazing small animals. Learn more about these animals today.

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