Biological scientists are very enthusiastic about the most interesting things on the planet. And when they find something, they rejoice like children! Have you ever wondered what animals on Earth are considered the smallest?
It’s hard to believe, but some of the animal species are just tiny. For example, in the Caribbean, there is a snake that is only 10 cm long – it easily fits in the palm of your hand.
Are you curious to know which creature on Earth is almost invisible to the human eye? We present to you the 10 smallest animals in the world at the present time: a rating of the inhabitants of our planet with photos and names.
- 10. Homopus signatures (turtle)
- 9. Craseonycteris thonglongyai (bat)
- 8. Tetracheilostoma carlae (snake)
- 7. Suncus Etruscans (shrew)
- 6. Mellisuga helenae (hummingbird)
- 5. Sphaerodactylus ariasae
- 4. Hippocampus Denise (seahorse)
- 3. Brookesia minima (chameleon)
- 2. Paedocypris progenetica (fish)
- 1. Paedophryne (frog)
10. Homopus signatures (turtle)
Body length and weight of an adult: 10-11 cm, 95-165 g.
The smallest turtle in the world is considered to be Homopus signatures, which lives in the south of the African continent. It feeds mainly on flowers, fewer leaves, and stems.
Like many representatives of the animal world, the turtle has developed sexual dimorphism – that is, the females are much larger than the males, in addition, their shell is wider and taller.
Carapace Homopus signature is light beige with small black spots. It lives in those places where it can easily hide: under stones or in narrow crevices, fleeing from predators – due to its tiny size, the turtle has no problems with this.
9. Craseonycteris thonglongyai (bat)
Body length and weight of an adult: 3 cm, 1.7 g.
Craseonycteris thonglongyai (aka ” pig ” and ” bumblebee “) is not only the smallest animal in the world, but also the smallest representative of the mammalian class.
The mouse got its name from its muzzle – it is flat and fleshy, reminiscent of a pig, and is located between very small eyes. Some members of the class seem to be real giants in comparison with her.
Distinctive features of such an unusual bat can be distinguished by wide and long wings, the loss of a tail and an unusual muzzle. The color of the mouse on the back is reddish-brown, and lighter on the bottom. Insects are included in the diet of this crumbs.
Interesting fact: the discovery of the pig mouse belongs to the biologist Kitty Thonglongya from Thailand, who described the animal in 1973.
8. Tetracheilostoma carlae (snake)
Body length and weight of an adult: 10 cm, 0.5 g.
Are you afraid of snakes? Look at this miracle – it certainly won’t scare you! The smallest snake, Tetracheilostoma carlae, was discovered in Barbados in 2008.
The baby prefers to hide away from everyone, choosing stones and grass for her shelter, and the only place where she feels comfortable is the forests growing in the eastern and central parts of the island.
This species of snake is deprived of sight, and it feeds on ants and termites. Because deforestation on the island occurs, it can be assumed that the species is threatened with extinction. Tetracheilostoma carlae is not poisonous.
7. Suncus Etruscans (shrew)
Adult length and weight: 3.4 cm, 1.7 g.
The smallest mammal Suncus etruscus (in other words ” white-toothed “) resembles an ordinary shrew in appearance, but only in miniature size.
Despite its size, the shrew is a predator – it eats various insects, including pests, bringing great benefits to nature and humans. This miracle lives in Southern Europe, North Africa, in the territory of Southern China, etc.
The incredibly fast metabolism forces the shrew to consume twice as much food as its own weight, keeping its body temperature at the proper level. It’s hard to imagine, but this baby’s heart beats at a rate of 25 beats per second.
6. Mellisuga helenae (hummingbird)
Adult length and weight: 6 cm, 2 g.
This unique tiny bird flaps its wings 90 per second, hovering over tropical flowers to enjoy the nectar. Believe it or not, the hummingbird heart beats between 300 and 500 beats per minute.
Mellisuga helenae was discovered in Cuba in 1844 by Juan Cristobal. Hummingbirds’ legs are very small – they are large and do not need them, because most of their time they are in flight.
Hummingbirds are solitary in all aspects, except for the moment when it is necessary to take care of the reproduction of offspring. During the mating season, males attract females with their singing – females, in turn, listen to them and choose a mate for themselves.
5. Sphaerodactylus ariasae
Adult length and weight: 1.6 cm, 0.2 g.
The dwarf gecko is the smallest lizard in the world, discovered in 2001. You can see it only on the small island of Beata, not far from the shores of the Dominican Republic.
Sphaerodactylus ariasae translates as sphaero – round, dactylus – finger. The name is due to the fact that the phalanges of the lizard end in round suction pads. Unlike other genera of geckos, these babies have round pupils.
Keeping such a cute baby at home is allowed only for experienced terrarium keepers, because if she escapes, it will be almost impossible to find her.
4. Hippocampus Denise (seahorse)
Adult length: 1 cm.
Probably anxious to learn more about this cute seahorse? Let’s start! Hippocampus denise lives in the depths of the sea, and is the smallest among the rest of the seahorses. Tiny creatures live singly or in small groups.
These animals are masters of disguise – their yellowish-orange coloration allows them to easily merge with the branches of the coral, among the branches of which they live, and “hide”.
The camouflage of Denis’s skate proved to be so effective that the animal was discovered only due to the fact that, together with its home – a twig of a gorgonia, was in the laboratory.
3. Brookesia minima (chameleon)
Adult length: 1 cm.
Nature never ceases to amaze us! Brookesia minima belongs to the chameleon family and is the smallest species on the planet. All animals of this species live on the territory of the island of Madagascar, lead a hidden lifestyle. During the day they prefer to hide in the forest floor, and at night climb the trunks to sleep.
You can see this baby only by chance, because like all chameleons, this species changes the color of the skin depending on the environment that surrounds it, in addition, you can hardly see the animal in its natural environment, because it does not exceed 1 cm in length … Brookesia minima includes 30 species.
2. Paedocypris progenetica (fish)
Adult length and weight: 7.9 mm, 4 g.
This baby looks like a fry. The fish has almost no skull, which is why it is in a vulnerable state. Paedocypris progenetica was discovered in 2006 in one of the swamps of Sumatra by a team of scientists.
Before this amazing find, it was believed that various animals could not live in the waters of Indonesia. But after scientists managed to make a discovery, biologists studied the area well, and, as you might guess, discovered many new species of animals, as well as plants.
Interesting fact: after the team of scientists discovered Paedocypris progenetica, the fish became pets – they are kept in mini-aquariums.
1. Paedophryne (frog)
Adult length: 7.7 mm.
Our amazing selection is rounded off by Paedophryne , a frog that is smaller than a fingernail.
This species was discovered quite by accident by two researchers in 2009 thanks to microphones for recording sounds. The recordings repeated a signal with a frequency of ≈9000 Hz, similar to the croaking of a frog.
Researchers began to actively search the surroundings of the village of Amau, interested in sound, and how they were probably amazed! Only 4 Paedophryne species have been found in nature, and all of them inhabit the territory of Papua New Guinea.