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The Smallest Animals

Here you find a list of the smallest animals in the world, exciting information and photos!

The animal kingdom continues to surprise us with incredible records! And in this case, lots of cute ones too! In this article we introduce you to the top 30 smallest animals in the world. Of course, it's about the size within the respective animal species - otherwise there would only be tiny insects in this list.

As tiny as the animals may be, they don't lack arms or legs. They are just incredibly small. Their organs are of course just as small, but they are also fully functional. Have fun marveling at the smallest animals in the world!

Chameleon Chameleon - Photo: Katarzyna_Przygodzka/Shutterstock


The 30 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 donkey KneeHi 25.29 inches (64.2 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 Brachycephalus pulex 0.25 inches (6.45 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.

Chameleon Photo: Artush (Chameleon B. micra)/Shutterstock, berkahjayamaterial (paper clip)/

Shoulder Height and Body Length

All data in this list relate to the shoulder height or the so called body length. This is the length from the ground to the shoulder or thei length from the tip of the nose to the root of the tail. Head, neck, 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.

Silky Anteater Photo: Quinten Questel (silky anteater) [CC BY-SA 3.0], via Wikimedia Commons, Piotr (ice cube tray)/

The Smallest Horse Breed

The Falabella pony is the smallest horse breed in the world. It 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 pounds (10 kg) and could be easily carried around on the arm. A handbag horse as it were.


Falabella Horse Photo: DragoNika (Falabella)/Shutterstock, aopsan (chair)/

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.

Silky Anteater Photo: Dias, I (frog) [CC BY 4.0], via Wikimedia Commons, nathanipha99 (pea)/

The Smallest Bird

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 ounces (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 ounces (0.365 grams).

Bee Hummingbird Photo: Charles J. Sharp (hummingbird) [CC BY-SA 4.0], via Wikimedia Commons, luissybuster (peanut)/

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 pounds (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.


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