Animals come in all shapes and sizes – some small animals can be really small!
There are some invertebrates that are not even visible to the human eye: some mites are known to measure only 200μm (0.0002mm) in length, a parasitic wasp can be as small as 139μm (0.0001mm) long, and there’s a tiny beetle which is less than 1 mm long. Given the minute size of these animals, who knows what we have yet to discover!
Here is a selection of the smallest vertebrate animals on earth. Some people think the smallest animals are the shortest in height, or length, or the lightest. Which ever way you measure them these really are some amazing little animals.
1. Speckled Padloper Tortoise
2. Bee Hummingbird
The Bee Hummingbird (Mellisuga helenae) is the smallest bird and the smallest warm-blooded vertebrate. It measures 5.7cm (2.2″) in length and 1.8g (0.06oz) in weight. The size of its nest measures 2cm wide and 3cm deep.
3. Kitti’s Hog-Nosed Bat
The Kitti’s Hog-nosed Bat (Craseonycteris thonglongyai), or Bumblebee Bat from Thailand and Burma is the smallest bat, at 30–40mm (1.1 – 1.6″) in length and 1.5 to 2g(0.05 – 0.07oz) in weight. It is about the same size as a bumblebee and has a distinctive pig-like snout. It lives in limestone caves along rivers, with an average of 100 individuals living in a single cave.
4. Slender Blind Snakes
Slender Blind Snakes or Thread Snakes(Leptotyphlopidae) are thought to be the world’s smallest snakes at about 11cm (4.3″) in length. They are found in North and South America, Africa, and Asia. There are 87 different species of these snakes. They are adapted to burrowing, feeding on ants and termites. Most species suck out the contents of insect bodies and discard the skin.
The Paedocypris (Paedocypris) is the smallest fish, at only 7.9mm in length. They are also considered the smallest vertebrate. It is found in the peat swamp forests of Indonesia’s Sumatra Island and can survive extreme drought due, in part, to their small size (7.9 mm long at maturity).