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The Smallest Animals

In this article you will find a list of the world’s smallest animals as well as exciting information and pictures! All data in this list relate to the so called snout-vent length, i. e. the length has been measured from the snout/tip of the nose to the root of the tail. Legs, arms, and the tail have not been considered, because the lengths of arms, legs, and tails often significantly differ within one species. Often curvatures and joints make measuring even more difficult. Therefore the snout-to-vent-length is simply more informative.

The Smallest Animals in the World

Smallest elephant Borneo pygmy elephant 59-86.6 inches (150-220 cm) *
Smallest seal Baikal seal 51.8 inches (130 cm)
Smallest crocodile Cuvier’s dwarf caiman 47.2 inches (120 cm) **
Smallest cattle Vechur cow 34.2 inches (87 cm) *
Smallest horse Falabella "Little Pumpkin" 13.9 inches (35,5 cm) *
Smallest goat West African dwarf goat 16.1-22.8 inches (41-58 cm) *
Smallest penguin Blue penguin 13.7-15.7 inches (35-40 cm)
Smallest fox Fennek 13.1-15.5 inches (33.3-39.5 cm)
Smallest antelope Royal antelope 9.4-10.2 inches (24-26 cm) *
Smallest dog species Chihuahua 8.6 inches (22 cm) *
Smallest anteater Pygmy anteater 7-8.2 inches (18-21 cm)
Smallest shark Dwarf lantern shark 6.2-6.8 inches (16-17.5 cm)
Smallest owl Tamaulipas pygmy owl 5.1-6.2 inches (13-16 cm)
Smallest snake Cairo blind snake 3.9 inches (10 cm)
Smallest dog Chihuahua "Milly" 3.8 inches (9.65 cm) *
Smallest cat Himalaya Persian "Tinker Toy" 2.7 inches (70 mm) *
Smallest turtle Southern speckled padloper 2.3 inches (60-80 mm)
Smallest bird Bee hummingbird 2.2 inches (57 mm)
Smallest mouse Etruscan pygmy shrew 1.3-1.8 inches (35-48 mm)
Smallest mammal Bumblebee bat 1.1-1.2 inches (29-33 mm)
Smallest gecko Sphaerodactylus 0.7 inches (18 mm)
Smallest chameleon Brookesia nana 0.53 (13.5 mm)
Smallest octopus Ocotpus wolfi 0.59 inches (15 mm)
Smallest seahorse Satomi dwarf seahorse 0.54 inches (13.8 mm)
Smallest centipede Nannarrup hoffmani 0.39 inches (10 mm)
Smallest fish Goby 0.31 inches (8 mm)
Smallest frog Paedophryne amauensis 0.27-0.31 inches (7-8 mm)
Smallest spider Webspinner Patu marplesi 0.01 inches (0.43 mm)
Smallest organism Micro organism N. equitans 400 nm ****

* Shoulder height
** Total length
*** including tail 0.85 inch (21.6 mm)
**** nm indicates nanometers. 1 nm is one millionth of a millimeter.

Falabella Horse Falabella Horse - Photo: DragoNika/Shutterstock

The Smallest Horse Breed

These animals are not much bigger than fluffy toys! The Falabella horse is particularly cuddly. The pony does not get bigger than 33.85 inches (86 cm), which already is incredibly small. The smallest living Falabella does only measure 17.51 inches (44.5 cm), is named “Thumbelina”, and has got an entry in the Guinness Book of Records in 2006. With only 13,97 inches (35.5 cm), “Little Pumpkin” was even smaller. It weighed only 22 lbs (10 kg) and could be easily carried around on the arm. A handbag horse as it were.

The Smallest Amphibian

Smaller than a coin and yet fully grown: the smallest amphibian in the world is a narrow-mouthed frogs (Paedophryne amauensis). It is also the smallest vertebrate in the world. The frog lives in Papua New Guinea and was discovered just in 2009. That's not surprising, considering its size! Unlike other frogs, it does not develop from a tadpole, but hatches ready from the egg.

Chameleon Chameleon - Photo: Artush/Shutterstock

The Smallest Bird

The hummingbirds are cute little hummers, too. They use their long bills to slurp delicious nectar. The smallest hummingbird is the bee hummingbird, which also is the world’s smallest bird: It does not get bigger than 2.2 inches (57 mm) and not heavier than 0.05 oz (1.6 grams). The vervain hummingbird is a few millimeters bigger, but it lays the world’s smallest bird’s eggs. In 1998, a vervain hummingbird laid an egg that was not even 0.39 inches (10 mm) long and just weighed 0,01 oz (0.365 grams). (Our photo shows a Costa’s hummingbird.)

The Smallest Humans

Chandra Bahadur Dangi from Nepal is said to be the smallest man of the world. He was born in 1939 and was only 1.79 feet (54.6 cm) tall and weighed 31.9 lbs (14.5 kg) in 2012. The world’s smallest woman is Jyoti Kisanji Amge from India. She was born in 1993 and was just 2.06 feet (62.8 cm) tall at her 18th birthday in 2011.

Costa's Hummingbird Costa's Hummingbird - Photo: Manja/Shutterstock


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