Monkeys that can fit in a teacup, chameleons the size of your thumbnail, and hummingbirds that are easily mistaken for insects are just a few examples of the tiny creatures found in nature. Many of the world’s smallest creatures can be found in once relatively wild, remote places, such as Madagascar off the southeast coast of Africa, but are now threatened by human activity.
Others, like Thumbelina, a 17-inch tall horse, are merely natural anomalies. However, all of these creatures have in common beyond their small stature: they are so adorable.
The pygmy marmoset is the world’s tiniest monkey, with adults reaching up to 5 inches long and weighing only 6 ounces. They are really tiny and adorable when they are babies, like these albino twins born in 2006 at Frösö Zoo in Ostersund, Sweden.
Pink Fairy Armadillo
Okay, maybe this isn’t cute at all. When you hear the phrase “pink fairy,” you probably don’t immediately think of a burrowing mammal with raw pink armour and terrifying long nails. The armadillo pink fairy is an unusual creature not often seen.
It is the smallest armadillo and the only one with a dorsal shell that is almost completely different from the rest of its body. It is 3.3 to 4.6 inches long and lives in the arid grasslands and sandy plains of central Argentina.
Ducky, World’s Smallest Dog
Ducky the Chihuahua is the smallest dog globally, weighing only 1.4 pounds and standing just 4.9 inches tall. Ducky is three years old and easily surpassed the previous record-holder, a 5.4-inch Chihuahua, although he is far from the tiniest adult dog ever recorded. A tiny Yorkshire terrier at just 2.8 inches tall has won the title.
Thumbelina, World’s Smallest Horse
The world’s smallest horse is only 17 inches tall, about the same size as a house cat. Thumbelina was born on a farm owned by a couple that produces miniature horses, and she was tiny even compared to the rest of the couple’s horses. They are about 34 inches tall when fully grown. She weighs only 60 pounds, and her size has been attributed to dwarfism, making her “a miniature person”.
Madagascar’s Lemur mouse is officially the smallest primate in the world, measuring 2.25 to 4.75 inches. It looks similar to Philippine Tarsier.
Because they are nocturnal and rarely leave their trees, it is not surprising that some of the eight species of mouse Lemur have recently been discovered. They are on the verge of extinction due to the destruction of their forest habitat.
Hippocampus Denise Seahorse
Hippocampus Denise seahorse is about the size of a human fingernail, measuring about 16 mm long from snout to tip of the tail. So little that researchers thought it was the juvenile of the next smallest seahorse species, the Hippocampus bargibanti.
The diminutive bee hummingbird is the smallest bird in the world – or at least, a male; females are slightly larger. Native to Cuba, this bird weighs only 1.8 grams and reaches about 2 inches in length.
The tiny Philippine Tarsier beetle is hairy and has been dubbed “the world’s tiniest monkey,” but it’s not a monkey at all. Due to their great rarity, scientists have not officially classified them as primates due to the lack of other options. They are average 3 to 6 inches long, with a 5 to 11 inches long tail. More interesting facts about snakes: its eyes are literally bigger than its stomach.
Brookesia Minima Chameleon
The Brookesia Minima chameleon is one of the smallest reptiles in the world, measuring less than an inch long. The Brookesia Minima (also known as Minute Leaf Chameleon) is barely visible between the bark and leaves of Madagascar, and it looks like a full-sized chameleon shrunk to the size of your thumbnail.
Kitti’s Hog-nosed Bat
The Kitty hog-nosed bat, commonly known as the bumblebee bat, is the world’s smallest mammal. As adults, these tiny animals weigh as much as a penny (about 2 grams) and are only 30 to 40 mm long.
They have big ears, reddish-brown fur, and a pig-like snout, which is how they got their name. They were thought to be living only in a small area of Thailand but have recently been found in the adjacent country of Myanmar.