The 14 Smallest Animals in the World

Smallest Animals
© James Bloor Griffiths/

Written by Rebecca Bales

Updated: August 6, 2023

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You may be wondering what are the world’s smallest animals. There are dwarf animals in almost every breed. This list does not focus on those fantastic animals. Instead, it focuses on animals around the world who are only designed to get that big. In order to include various animals, this list focuses on the smallest animals in the world from different popular animals.

With that said, here are the 14 smallest animals in the world:

The finger pygmy marmoset lives in the Amazon rainforest and weighs about 3.5 ounces.

#14 Rhinoceros — 1,320 to 2,000 Pounds

Smallest Animals: RhinocerosSmallest Animals: Rhinoceros

The Sumatran rhinoceros is the smallest and hairiest rhinoceros and is also critically endangered.

©Light And Dark Studio/

The Sumatran rhinoceros is the smallest rhinoceros in the world. These rhinoceroses live on the Indonesian islands of Sumatra and Borneo. Its territory has been highly fragmented, and only two breeding pairs have been reported in the last 15 years because animals cannot reach each other to breed.

Not only are Sumatran rhinoceros the smallest species of rhinos, but they are also the only Asian rhino with two horns. They are covered with long hair and are actually more closely related to the extinct wooly rhinos than any other living rhino species alive today. Although smaller, these amazing creations can live 35 to 40 years.

While being the smallest known rhinoceros, they are far from tiny animals. They weigh between 1,320 and 2,090 pounds. Sumatran rhinoceroses stand between 3.5 and 5 feet tall and are between 6.5 and 13 feet long.

Learn more about Sumatran rhinoceros.

#13 Cows — 286 Pounds

Smallest Animals: Cows

Tiny, gentle Vechur cows were so greatly valued that at one time people presented them as wedding gifts.

©Asok Mathew/

The smallest breed of cow is the Vechur. These cows became almost extinct in India, where farmers once prized them for the amount of milk they would give compared to the amount of food they ate.

Both cows and bulls have short horns that curve backward. Cows weigh about 286 pounds when mature. They stand about 35 inches tall at the shoulders.

Learn more about cows.

#12 Wild Pigs — 7 to 12 Pounds

Smallest Animals: Wild Pigs

The critically endangered pygmy hog, the smallest wild pig in the world, rarely reaches more than 10 inches high.


Head to the wet grasslands in the southern Himalayan foothills at Manas National Park near Assam, India, to see the world’s smallest wild pigs. Called wild pygmy hogs, these animals seldom grow to be over 10 inches high and are about 19 inches long. They weigh from 7 to 12 pounds. Despite their small size, males look especially tough since you can see their upper canines when their mouth is closed. They live on a diet of roots, tubers, insects, rodents, and small reptiles, which they forage at night.

Learn more about pigs.

#11 Chicken — 8 to 19 Ounces

Smallest Animals: Chicken

The Serama bantam chicken is very friendly, easy to handle, and hatches faster than average chickens.


The world’s smallest chicken is the Serama, a true bantam as breeders did not breed it down from larger birds. These chickens seldom grow to be more than 10 inches tall. The heaviest ones weigh less than 19 ounces, but many do not grow to be more than 8 ounces. They will lay between four and six eggs per week. Many breeders love this animal because the smallest ones will hatch in just 17 days, compared to 21 days for the average chicken.

Learn more about chickens.

#10 Rabbits — 0.827 to 1.102 Pounds

Smallest Animals: Rabbits

The Columbia Basin pygmy rabbit is the only rabbit in the United States that digs its own burrow.

©Randy Bjorklund/

The world’s smallest rabbit is the Columbia Basin pygmy rabbit. Officials with the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Services were fearful that this rabbit would go extinct, so they took 14 of them to the Oregon Zoo, where they would be safe. This breed lives in sagebrush. During the winter, they dine almost exclusively on the brush, but their diet is more varied during warmer months. These rabbits may give birth once a year to two to six kits.

The Columbia Basin pygmy rabbits weigh between 0.827 and 1.102 pounds and are less than 11 inches long.

Learn more about rabbits.

#9 Tortoise — 3.3 to 5.8 Ounces

Speckled tortoise (Chersobius signatus)

The speckles on the Speckled Dwarf Tortoise’s shell help it camouflage in the rocky areas it inhabits.


The Speckled Dwarf Tortoise is the smallest tortoise in the world. It lives in Little Namaqualand, South Africa. This tortoise weighs from 3.3 to 5.8 ounces, with females being slightly bigger than males. It feeds on small succulents growing amid the rocky outcroppings. The population of speckled dwarf turtles is declining because pet traders have removed them from their natural habitat. Yet, they do not adapt well to their diet in captivity.

Learn more about tortoises.

#8 Monkeys — 3.5 Ounces

Smallest Animals: Monkeys

The Pygmy marmoset has fingernails that are like claws to help them climb up and down trees.


The world’s smallest monkey is the finger pygmy marmoset. These monkeys who live in the Amazon rainforest weigh about 3.5 ounces. They live in troops of two-to-nine individuals. This monkey’s body is usually between 4.6 and 6 inches long, but its tail can be up to 9 inches long. This brownish monkey has a black ring on its tail.

It uses its sharp nails to climb trees. Then, it uses its specialized incisors to remove gum sap from the tree.

Learn more about finger pygmy marmosets.

#7 Lemur — 1.2 Ounces

Smallest Animals: Lemur

Madame Berthe’s mouse lemur, the smallest primate in the world, lives most of its life in trees.

©Dennis van de Water/

Madame Berthe’s mouse lemur is the smallest known living primate as it weighs typically 1.2 ounces. The only place that it lives is in a 12-mile-square area of southern Madagascar. This lemur’s body is between 3.5 and 4.3 inches long while its tail is not quite 5 inches long. It weighs about an ounce. Its enormous eyes for its body size are specially equipped for foraging at night. They live most of their lives in trees about 32 feet off the ground, where they dine on a sugary substance secreted by the insect larvae.

Learn more about lemurs.

#6 Rodents — 0.13 Ounces

Smallest Animals: Rodents

The Baluchistan pygmy jerboa has short front feet and hind feet that are four times longer and designed for hopping.

©Sergey Mikhaylov/

The world’s smallest rodent is the Baluchistan pygmy jerboa. This rodent weighs about 0.13 ounces. Its body is about 1.7 inches long while its tail is often 3 inches long. It lives in sandy areas in Pakistan and Afghanistan.

The back legs of the Baluchistan pygmy jerboas are much longer than the front legs. Its back legs have five toes, but the middle three are fused. This nocturnal animal eats seeds. They do not drink water directly. Instead, they get enough through the insects that they consume.

Learn more about jerboas.

#5 Birds — 0.07 Ounces

Smallest Animals: Birds

Bee hummingbirds are thought to have the second-fastest heartbeat of all animals in the world.

©Wang LiQiang/

The world’s smallest bird is the bee hummingbird. This Cuban native measures 2.5 inches long. They weigh less than 0.07 ounces. Their nest is about the size of a quarter and their eggs are about the size of a coffee bean. Their wings move up to 80 times a second when they fly, but that increases to more than 200 times a second when they are performing their mating ritual.

In addition to their speediness, hummingbirds are the most agile birds in the world, due to the structure of their wing joints, which allows them to hover. The air around their hypnotically flapping wings creates a humming sound, and they can reach speeds of 37 mph and up to 60 mph in courtship dives.

Learn more about hummingbirds.

#4 Bats — 0.07 Ounces

Smallest Animals: Bats


bats live on very small insects that they locate with echolocation.

©Momotarou2012 / CC BY-SA 3.0, Wikimedia Commons – Original / License

Kitti’s hog-nose bat, also called the bumblebee bat, is the world’s smallest bat. It is also the world’s smallest mammal in length. This reddish-brown bat has a hog-like snout, which it uses to feed on flying ants and small flies in its native territory of western Thailand and areas of Myanmar.

These bats can weigh about 0.07 ounces and reach about 0.75 inches long. This tiny bat excites biologists because it may be undergoing a speciation process. During this process, those bats in Myanmar would become a separate species from those found in Thailand. It is a process that biologists seldom get to observe.

Learn more about bats.

#3 Fish — Less Than 0.07 Ounces

Paedocypris progenetica

Paedocypris progenetica was only discovered in the past decade.

©Aquaristikhaus / CC BY-SA 3.0, via Wikimedia Commons – Original / License

Paedocypris progenetica from Sumatra, an island in Indonesia, is one of the world’s smallest fish. This member of the carp family is less than 0.40 inches long, with females usually being less than 0.3 inches long. This fish has an uncovered rudimentary brain.

It lives in water that has extreme acidity. Biologists are afraid that this fish may go extinct by 2040 because of the expansion of palm oil plantations in the area.

Learn more about fish.

#2 Shrews — 0.063 Ounces

Smallest Animals: Shrews

The smallest mammal in the world is the Etruscan shrew, which uses tiny whiskers near its mouth to hunt for prey.

©Wirestock Creators/

Many shrews are among the smallest animals globally, but the Etruscan shrew is the smallest of them all. This shrew tips the scale at 0.063 ounces. Its body is about 1.6 inches long while its tail can be up to 1.25 inches long. You can find them in Europe and North Africa along with on the Maltese Islands.

The Etruscan shrew eats about twice its body weight in insects daily. It uses tiny whiskers near its mouth to hunt for food at night. Its heart beats up to 1,511 beats per minute. Coupled with its low body weight, it must constantly be moving and eating to avoid hyperthermia, despite living in some of the hottest areas on earth.

#1 Frogs — 0.0001 Ounces

Smallest Animals: Frogs

Discovered in 2011, the Paedophryne amauensis is about the size of a housefly.

©Rittmeyer EN, Allison A, Gründler MC, Thompson DK, Austin CC / CC BY 2.5, via Wikimedia Commons – Original / License

The world’s smallest frog is the Paedophryne amauensis. This frog which is a native of Papua New Guinea, measures about 0.3 inches long or about the size of a housefly. It weighs about 0.00455 ounces. Discovered in 2011, it is also one of the world’s smallest vertebrates. These frogs that live in thick piles of grass in tropical forests eat tiny insects. It weighs just 0.0001 ounces.

Learn more about frogs.

The world is full of amazing small animals. Learn more about these animals today.

Summary of the 14 Smallest Animals in the World

Here’s a look back at 14 of the smallest of various species of animals and their sizes:

1Paedophryne amauensis Frog0.0001 ounces
2Etruscan Shrew0.063 ounces
3Paedocypris progenetica FishLess than 0.07 ounces
4Kitti’s Hog-Nose Bat0.07 ounces
5Bee Hummingbird0.07 ounces
6 Baluchistan Pygmy Jerboa0.13 ounces
7Madame Berthe’s Mouse Lemur1.2 ounces
8Finger Pygmy Marmoset Monkey3.5 ounces
9Speckled Dwarf Tortoise3.3 to 5.8 ounces
10Columbia Basin Pygmy Rabbit0.827 to 1.102 pounds
11Serama Chicken8 to 19 ounces
12Wild Pygmy Hog7 to 12 pounds
13Vechur Cow286 pounds
14Sumatran Rhinoceros1,320 to 2,000 pounds

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About the Author

Rebecca is an experienced Professional Freelancer with nearly a decade of expertise in writing SEO Content, Digital Illustrations, and Graphic Design. When not engrossed in her creative endeavors, Rebecca dedicates her time to cycling and filming her nature adventures. When not focused on her passion for creating and crafting optimized materials, she harbors a deep fascination and love for cats, jumping spiders, and pet rats.

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