Check out the top smallest animals in the world! This top 10 list of most tiny animals on earth will surprise you!
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10. Dwarf Lantern Shark
When we think of sharks, we think of huge predators with mouths full of sharp teeth, just waiting to tear into an unsuspecting swimmer. While that image doesn’t apply to the majority of shark species, it’s enough of a stereotype to make the dwarf lantern shark a bit of a surprise.
At seven inches long, not only is this the smallest shark in the world, but it is also bioluminescent. First seen in 1985 off the coast of Colombia by scientist George Burgess, these elusive fish use their light-emitting organs as camouflage when swimming in shallow waters. The organs are on the belly and under the fins so that, when seen from below, the shark blends into the sunlight streaming through the shallow water. In dark water, the light attracts smaller animals, which the shark eats. There’s also a theory that the bioluminescence serves to scare away larger predators. Talk about multipurpose!
Aside from this, little else is known about the dwarf lantern shark, as it is very rare..
9. Brookesia Micra Chameleon
In 2012, it was announced a that a tiny chameleon was discovered. It is so small that it can comfortably sit on the head of a match. It was discovered on an equally tiny island off the coast of Madagascar. The Brookesia Micra Chameleon is the smallest chameleon ever discovered and grows to only a half-inch long, if you don’t include the tail. Including the tail, the length reaches only one inch or sixteen millimeters.
But it isn’t just the smallest chameleon ever discovered. It’s the smallest vertebrate on Earth!
While the species is active during the day, the Brookesia Micra was discovered under the cover of night. Hiding in tree branches barely four inches off the ground, scientists said catching them was as easy as picking strawberries because, at night, they do not move at all. The species was discovered during expeditions during 2003 and 2007 but research wasn’t published until Feb 15, 2012.
Despite their size, these tiny lizards are in big danger. Deforestation and habitat loss threaten the miniscule Brookesia Micra with extinction.
8. Bumblebee Bat
The Kitti’s hog-nosed bat, sometimes referred to as the bumblebee bat due to its tininess, was discovered in the 1970s and could be the world’s smallest mammal (depending on how you define size). However, it is definitely the smallest of all bats discovered so far. It can be found in Western Thailand and Southeast Burma and lives in limestone caves along rivers. It weighs around 7 grams (¼ oz) and is about 2.5 cm (1 in) in length. There is a tail but it’s so small, most people don’t see it.
Its size isn’t the only amazing thing about it. Because of its body dimensions, the bumblebee bat should be incapable of flight. Scientists think that extra webbing somehow helps it out. They can also roost with ease with a tendon-locking mechanism that allows them to remain in a hanging position without expending energy.
Its coat is reddish-brown or gray, with a distinctive pig-like snout. Like all bats, this one lives in colonies. These colonies vary in size, but most have an average of 100 individuals per cave. Some caves will have smaller groups from 10 to 15, while others will have up to 500. The bat feeds in short bursts of activity during evenings and dawn, foraging for insects.
7. Western Pygmy Blue Butterfly
Sometimes no bigger than 1 cm, the Western Pygmy Blue is the smallest butterfly in the United States and maybe even the whole world. It can be found in the Persian Gulf and Hawaii, as well. Unlike a few other tiny animals on this list, the Western Pygmy is very common. However, most people walk right by these beauties not only because of their size but also because they fly close to the ground.
This species breeds during the winter and summer and prefers areas with alkali soils. Its larvae secretes a honey-like substance that attracts ants. The ants treat the caterpillar as a food source and guard it carefully. In the summer, the butterflies live only 21 days, making these tiny insects as fleeting as they are beautiful.