The Biggest and Smallest Animals On The Planet
Animals come in all shapes and sizes, from extremely tiny to awesomely huge. Being huge has its advantages but being little has many advantages as well. Smaller animals need fewer resources to survive, can reproduce more often, and have more hiding options. However, larger animals are more intimidating and harder to overpower; they have a buffer if resources become scarce and can more easily escape predators. The beauty of our world is that there are animals of all shapes, sizes, and types.
Dwarf Three-Toed Jerboa
The Dwarf Three-Toed Jerboa, also known as Baluchistan Pygmy Jerboa, is one of the smallest rodents in the world. They only grow to an average of 4.4 centimeters long and can be found mostly in the harsh desert climate of Pakistan and Afghanistan.
The Dwarf Three-Toed Jerboa typically survives by burrowing under small bushes, and they feed on wind-blown seeds and succulent leaves. In addition, the rodent weighs on average 3.75 grams.
The Long-Tailed Planigale is the world's smallest marsupial and also one of the smallest mammals ever to exist. They are typically three to four millimeters long, and their body appears flat in order to make the marsupial better adapted to life as a predator.
In addition, the skull is one-fifth as deep as it is wide, which allows the mammal to sneak into the tiniest cracks to find their prey or hide. The Long-Tailed Planigale thrives in Australia, where the cracked soil and food are plentiful.
The Bee Hummingbird can be found in Cuba, and the Isle of Youth is the smallest species. It typically weighs about 2.6 grams and is about 6.1 inches long. In addition, females grow to be larger than their male counterparts.
Its shocks of bright blue, red, and orange across its body make the bird incredibly adorable and recognizable. Their diet consists of flowers, insects, and spiders, and they will consume up to half their body weight in food on a typical day.
Pygmy Mouse Lemur
The Pygmy Mouse Lemur, also known as the Peters' Mouse Lemour or Dormouse Lemur, is the second smallest species of the mouse lemurs. It is a primate and weighs forty-three to fifty-five grams as adults. Because they are so small and have a nocturnal nature, they weren't discovered until 1993 in Madagascar.
They typically live in packs of up to fifteen, and the females are more dominant than the males. The lemur is vulnerable because it sleeps during the day and in the open, making it easier for predators to catch them off-guard.
Paedophryne Amauensis Frog
The Paedophryne Amauensis Frog is the smallest species of frog and vertebrate, measuring just 7.7 millimeters in length. The species was discovered in 2009 by a scientist; they camouflage themselves in leaf litter on the tropical forest floors.
The frogs are incredibly hard to detect, and not much is known about their living patterns and eating habits. It differs from other frog species because its life cycle does not include a tadpole stage; instead, they hatch. In addition, they are capable of jumping thirty times their body length.
Speckled Padloper Tortoise
The Speckled Padloper Tortoise, also known as Homopus Signatus, is the smallest tortoise species in the world. It is found in a small area in Little Namaqualand in South Africa, living amongst the rocky outcrops of the area and feeding on tiny succulents.
Males typically measure six to eight centimeters, and females measure up to ten centimeters, weighing about ninety-five to one hundred and sixty-five grams. They begin a courtship with a head nod, after which mating begins. Unfortunately, the species are vulnerable because of heavy poaching and traffic along the area they inhabit.
The Hippocampus Denise, also known as Denise's pygmy seahorse or the yellow pygmy seahorse, is one of the smallest seahorses, measuring no more than 2.4 centimeters. The species is incredibly rare but has been found throughout the Western Pacific, including Vanuatu, Indonesia, Palau, Malaysia, Micronesia, and the Solomon Islands.
Because of the seahorse's camouflage abilities, it is incredibly adaptive. The male broods the eggs in its ventral brood pouch, and they exit the pouch and venture out on their own once fully grown.
The Bumblebee Bat, also known as Kitti's hog-nosed bat, is the smallest species of bat in the world. They can fit into the palm of a hand, measuring about twenty-nine to thirty-three millimeters.
The bat weighs a mere two grams and lives in caves outside the Thai community of Tenasserim Hills in Sai Yok District, Kanchanaburi Province. They live in colonies of up to one hundred other bats and are recognized by their pig-like snouts and reddish-brown or grey coats.
The Royal Antelope, also known as the West African Antelope, is the smallest in the world, standing at just twenty-five centimeters. It is a monogamous animal, and the females only give birth once throughout their lives.
In addition, it displays incredible alertness and intelligence by marking its territories with feces and fleeing from harmful situations before they even occur. Sadly, the expanding settlement of humans is greatly affecting the Royal Antelope's habitat.
The Etruscan Shrew, also known as the White-Toothed Pygmy Shrew, is the smallest animal known by mass, weighing in at no more than 1.8 grams. It prefers warm and damp climates, which is why they reside in North Africa, Europe, and Malaysia.
The shrews are known for their fast metabolisms and extremely quick movements, which makes them very skillful hunters. In addition, they often hunt animals about their own size, and they are threatened with extinction in some countries.
Dwarf Lantern Shark
The Dwarf Lantern Shark is the smallest species of shark, measuring only twenty centimeters. It is one of the hardest to detect and can be found on the upper continental slopes of Colombia and Venezuela.
The tiny shark has a long, wide, flattened head with large eyes and has light-emitting organs called photophores along its belly and fins. It helps them camouflage when they feed in shallower water as the light attracts smaller animals for the shark to prey upon.
The Sphaerodactylus Ariasae, also known as the Jarahua Sphaero or The Jaragua Dwarf Gecko, is a very small species of lizard, measuring between sixteen and eighteen millimeters.
They are incredibly rare and have only been seen in Jaragua National Park, in the extreme southwest of the Dominican Republic, and nearby Beata Island. In addition, it weighs roughly 0.13 grams, feeds on insects, and lives in the leaf litter of the forest floor of dry forests with limestone substratum.
Brookesia Micra Chameleon
The Brookesia Micra is the smallest known chameleon, with adults only measuring up to twenty-nine millimeters. They have only been seen on the island of Nosy Hara in Antsiranana, Madagascar.
In addition, they reside in leaf litter during the day, and at night, they climb up into tree branches. The species is sensitive to habitat destruction due to the area of habitat being subject to illegal logging.
The Pygmy Marmoset, also known as the pocket monkey, is an adorable creature and is the smallest species of primates in the world. It weighs around one hundred grams and is found in Brazil, Ecuador, Colombia, Peru, and Bolivia.
It is a curious little monkey that is typically no longer than 5.12 inches. It uses its sharp teeth and nails to make holes in trees and eat the sap, gum, and resins inside. In addition, it will consume insects.
The Pygmy Rabbit is the smallest species of rabbit and weighs between three hundred and seventy-five to five hundred grams. Females tend to be larger than males and have a short breeding period. Its small size, gray color, short ears, tiny hind legs, and lack of fuzzy white fur makes them distinct from other rabbits.
The Pygmy Rabbit is mostly active in the evening and at dawn, but when they are resting, they can usually be found in deep soil areas with high, dense sagebrush. Its diet consists of sagebrush, forb, and grasses.
The Philippine Tarsier is one of Earth's smallest primates and measures between eighty-five and one hundred and sixty millimeters as full-grown adults. It is only found in the Philippines and is a member of the Tarsiidae family.
The Philippine Tarsier is a shy and nocturnal animal that leads a mostly hidden life. It sleeps during the day in dark hollows close to the ground near bushes and shrubs. In addition, it clings vertically to trees and leaps from branch to branch.
Slender Blind Snakes
The Slender Blind Snake is an extremely tiny thin snake with smooth, shiny scales. It is often recognized as a thread or worm snake, and it only has teeth on its lower jaw but none on the upper jaw. Some of them do not have skulls, and they consume small insects and animals that don't have a backbone.
It usually weighs about 1.4 grams and measures four to ten inches. The Slender Blind Snake can be found in South, Central, North America, Africa, and Southwest Asia.
The Blue Whale, also known as Balaenoptera Musculus Intermedia, is the largest animal on the planet and weighs a shocking four hundred thousand pounds. It measures up to ninety-eight feet long and has a heart the size of a small car.
During the main feeding season, it will consume about eight thousand pounds of krill every day. In addition, it is the loudest animal on Earth, reaching one hundred and eighty-eight decibels, and its low-frequency whistle can be heard for hundreds of miles.
African Bush Elephant
The African Bush Elephant is one of the largest animals on Earth and can weigh up to eleven tons. It can reach up to thirteen feet in height and is known for its large head and ears and pronounced tusks.
Its dextrous and sensitive trunk is made up of over forty thousand muscles and tendons, allowing the elephant to handle objects of all sizes. They are found in most African countries; however, their existence is at stake due to poaching and habitat destruction.
The Saltwater Crocodile, nicknamed Saltie, is a fearsome creature that weighs one thousand pounds. It has a massive jaw and will eat almost any animal that is in front of it. It hunts by waiting right below the surface of a body of water, bursting out using its tail to catch and drown its prey.
It can be found in several regions, anywhere from Australia to Southeast Asia. Up until the 1970s, it was often hunted for its skin, and it continues to be threatened by illegal killing and habitat loss.
The Giant Anaconda, also known as the Green Anaconda, can weigh around five hundred and fifty pounds and is found in swampy regions of South America. It is one of the longest known snake species, measuring up to seventeen feet long, and is the heaviest.
It possesses the ability to swim and is actually more agile in the water than on land. It is a non-venomous constrictor that kills its prey with asphyxiation and is known to consume animals such as pigs and deer.
The Colossal Squid is massive, measuring up to forty-five feet in adulthood, and it is incredibly mysterious. It lives at extreme water depths, which makes it hard for scientists to gather scientific data.
The Colossal Squid is an invertebrate and has extremely large eyes but has only been spotted a handful of times. In addition, it is confirmed to reach a weight of over one thousand pounds, and it uses bioluminescence to attract its prey.
The Red Kangaroo, also referred to as a mob, is the largest of all kangaroos. It can be found across mainland Australia and can weigh up to two hundred pounds. In addition, it has a lifespan of up to twenty-three years, but when firstborn, it is smaller than a cherry.
It has powerful legs that give it the ability to move at a speed of thirty-five miles per hour and jump six feet high. The Red Kangaroo spends an additional two months inside its mother's pouch before it branches out into the deserts and grasslands of Australia.
The Ostrich is a large flightless bird of Africa that lays the largest eggs of any living land animal. It can weigh up to three hundred pounds, making it the heaviest living bird, and can reach a height of nine feet.
It can only be found natively in the wild in Africa and consumes things like berries and grass. Both the males and females take turns guarding and tending to their eggs after a female has laid them. In addition, the bird can run at speeds of forty-five miles per hour.
The Whale Shark is the largest shark in the world and can reach the size of a school bus. The shark can measure sixty feet long. However, it is known as a gentle giant because it doesn't seek out and attack other ocean creatures.
Instead, the Whale Shark swims along with its mouth hanging open while sucking up all the plankton it passes. It can be found in several tropical oceans, and its uniquely white-spotted body distinguishes it from other sharks.
The Brown Bear, also called Ursus Arctos, is a large bear species that can be found in North America and across Eurasia. It is a nocturnal animal and peaks in activity in the morning and early evening. The brown bear doubles its weight during the summer and autumn, going up to four hundred pounds.
It relies on that extra fat during the winter while hibernating. However, they are not full hibernators and can be woken easily. It consumes a wide variety of food, including plant life, berries, insects, and rodents.
The Giraffe is the tallest land animal in the world, standing as tall as nineteen feet. Its heart weighs an astounding twenty-five pounds in order to pump blood all the way up to the brain.
In addition, a giraffe’s tongue is about twenty-one inches long, allowing it to eat hundreds of pounds of leaves every week. The giraffe is often seen in the wild in the African savanna.
The Wandering Albatross, also known as the snowy albatross or white-winged albatross, is a large seabird from the Diomedae family. It is one of the largest and most well-known birds in the world, with the greatest wingspan of any living bird.
In addition, it is one of the most far-ranging birds and communicates with screams, whistles, grunts, and bill clapping. Its diet consists of small fish, cephalopods, and crustaceans, eating to such excess at times that they are unable to fly.
The Polar Bear is the largest land carnivore in the world, with the female weighing up to seven hundred pounds and males weighing up to thirteen hundred pounds. It can be found largely within the Arctic Circle and spends most of its time on the sea ice.
Its diet consists of fish, seals, and hunting, primarily at the interface between ice, water, and air. It is active year-round, except for pregnant females, and it rarely lives beyond twenty-five years.
The Reticulated Python, also called the Malayopython Reticulatus, is the world’s largest snake and is native to South and Southeast Asia. It is among the three heaviest snakes but is a non-venomous constrictor.
It grows to sixteen feet long with a complex, diamond-shaped pattern that runs along the back. In addition, it is an excellent swimmer and forages both actively and passively using lie-and-wait tactics. The snake can open its jaws wide enough to swallow a human.
The Orca, Killer Whale, is the largest dolphin and can weigh up to twelve thousand pounds. It is recognized for its black-and-white patterned body and can be found in all of the world’s oceans.
It feeds on fish, seals, and even baleen whale calves. A male is usually twenty to twenty-six feet long, and females are sixteen to twenty-three feet long. In addition, Orcas are not considered to be a threat to humans.
The Komodo Dragon is a dark and scaly lizard that is extremely strong. It uses its long, thin forked tongue to test the air for signs of nearby prey and can eat eighty percent of its body weight in one meal.
In addition, it can empty its stomach at will to reduce its weight and escape danger more quickly. An adult Komodo Dragon weighs one hundred and fifty-four pounds on average and can be found in the Indonesian Islands.
The Capybara, also called 'capys,' is the largest rodent in the world, standing about two feet tall. The rodent is native to South America, where it lives on riverbanks so they can feast on water plants. It goes for daily swims to combat its naturally dry skin and has shaggy brown hair and webbed feet.
They can be found in groups as large as one hundred but typically live in groups of ten to twenty. It is a herbivore, consuming mostly grasses, fruit, tree bark, and aquatic plants. It has a lifespan of eight to ten years but typically lives less than four years in the wild.
The Goliath Frog, also called Conraua Goliath, is the largest frog, growing to be longer than one foot. It can weigh more than seven pounds and be as large as some house cats. In addition, they are champion jumpers and can leap almost ten feet forward.
It can be found in the Middle African countries of Cameroon and Equatorial Guinea. It generally stays in the rivers during the day but on land during the night. Its diet consists of aquatic plants, spiders, worms, insects, and fish, and it has a life span of up to fifteen years in the wild.
Donkey-Size Great Dane
The Great Dane is the largest breed of dogs, descending from hunting dogs from the Middle Ages that were used to hunt wolves and wild boar. It is referred to as a ‘gentle giant,’ often seeking physical affection from its owners.
It usually doesn’t show extreme aggressiveness and, with proper care and training, is a very gentle and loving animal. It is a pet and generally consumes dog food.
The Eastern Gorilla is the largest primate, measuring up to six feet tall and weighing four hundred and fifty pounds. It can be found in the mountainous forests of the Democratic Republic of Congo, Rwanda, and Uganda.
In addition, they live in cohesive family groups and have a diet consisting of heavy foliage and fruits. Sadly, the Eastern Gorilla is critically endangered, with fewer than five thousand left in the wild.
Southern Elephant Seal
Southern Elephant Seal is the largest species of seals and largest living carnivore, weighing eight thousand and eight hundred pounds. Its name Elephant Seal comes from their trunk-like snouts rather than their mammoth bodies.
It dives repeatedly for more than twenty minutes each time to hunt squid and fish. In addition, it dives down thirteen hundred to three thousand and three hundred feet. The species was near extinct in the 19th century due to hunting, but their important breeding sites are now protected.
Japanese Spider Crab
The Japanese Spider Crab has the largest leg span of any arthropod, with an overall span of twelve or thirteen feet. It can be found in the waters around Japan and is considered a delicacy in Japan.
In addition, it goes through three main larval stages and has an orange body and white-spotted legs. It has a life expectancy of almost one hundred years and consumes plant matter and animals.
The Manta Ray is a large stingray, reaching twenty-three feet wide and weighing two thousand pounds. However, Manta Rays can be extremely harmless and are found in warm temperate, subtropical, and tropical waters.
It consumes large quantities of Zooplankton and can often be seen leaping out of the water. It often visits cleaning stations on coral reefs to remove external parasites. The Manta Rays are protected in international waters but are more vulnerable closer to shore.
Chinese Giant Salamander
The Chinese Giant Salamander is one of the largest salamanders in the world, as well as one of the largest amphibians. It measures up to six feet long and can weigh up to sixty-six pounds. In addition, it is fully aquatic and is found in the rocky mountains, streams, and lakes in the Yangtze river basin of central China.
It feeds on insects, worms, crabs, shrimp, and fish and has very poor eyesight. Sadly, it is considered critically endangered in the wild because of pollution, habitat loss, and overcollection.
Giant Freshwater Stingray
The Giant Freshwater Stingray is one of the largest stingrays in the world and one of the largest freshwater fish. It measures up to six feet across and weighs up to thirteen hundred pounds. You can find the Giant Freshwater Stingray in large rivers and estuaries in Southeast Asia and Borneo.
It inhabits sandy or muddy areas as bottom-dwelling in nature and feeds on small fish and invertebrates. Sadly, there has been a substantial population decline because of heavy fishing pressure for meat, recreation, aquarium display, and extensive habitat degradation.
Bismarck Flying Fox
The Bismarck Flying Fox, also called the Acerodon jubatus, is the largest bat species. Sadly, it is an endangered fruit bat from the rainforests of the Philippines. It weighs over three pounds, is twenty-two inches long, and has a wingspan of almost six feet.
In addition, it is part of the megabat family and is social, forming colonies consisting of several thousand individuals. It can be found on the tops of tall trees during the day, and at night, it leaves its roost to forage for fruit.
The Pika is a small, mountain-dwelling mammal with short limbs, a round body, an even coat of fur, no tail, and they resemble a rabbit. It can be found in Asia and North America and prefer rocky slopes.
It consumes plants, grasses, flowers, and young stems, and for the long winter, it collects hay, soft twigs, and other food. In addition, the Pike is known for its high-pitched whistling and takes shelter in crude burrows. Its average lifespan in the wild is about seven years.
The Pygmy Possum measures between two and four inches and usually weighs just barely over .35 ounces. It can be found hanging upside down in trees in Australia and New Guinea and are nocturnal. Its diet consists of invertebrates, fruit, nectar, seed, and pollen, and they are excellent climbers.
In addition, it has a prehensile tail to grab branches, but it typically spends most of its time on the ground. Sadly, the species are critically endangered due to many factors that have led to habitat destruction.
The Octopus Wolfi is the smallest known octopus, measuring no more than one inch long and weighing just 0.04 ounces. It is typically found in fairly shallow waters in the western Pacific as it does not go very far away from the coastline.
Its diet consists of small crustaceans and mollusks and has a lifespan of about one year. In addition, it is a solitary creature and is not in danger of extinction.
Northern Pygmy Owl
The Northern Pygmy Owl is the smallest species of owl and can be found in a wide variety of forest types, usually in partly open habitats rather than solid unbroken forests. It measures fifteen to seventeen centimeters in length and is native to Canada, the United States, and Mexico.
Its diet consists of rodents, birds, insects, and lizards but has also been known to catch mammals as large as gophers and squirrels. It is usually active during the day.
The Fennec Fox is the smallest canid species and is native to the deserts of North Africa. It has unusually large ears, used to dissipate heat, and its hearing is sensitive in order to hear prey moving underground.
It has a lifespan of up to fourteen years, and its diet consists of insects, birds, and small mammals. The fox families will dig out burrows in the sand for protection and habitat. In some parts of the world, it is considered an exotic pet and is not threatened by extinction.
Monte Iberia Eleuth
The Monte Iberia Eleuth, also called the Monte Iberia Dwarf frog, is the smallest frog in the Northern Hemisphere. It measures only 0.4 inches and can be found in the rainforest in a small part of easternmost Cuba.
There is a lot about the animal that isn’t known, but its diet consists of invertebrates, insects, moths, and spiders. In addition, the Monte Iberia Eleuth is the third smallest frog in the world.
The tiger is the largest living cat and is a member of the genus Panthera. It is known for its dark vertical stripes on orange fur, and it measures between ninety-eight and one hundred and fifty-four inches.
It weighs between two hundred and six hundred and sixty pounds and has a very muscular body. The tiger is very territorial and usually solitary and can be found anywhere from the Siberian Temperate forests to subtropical and tropical forests.