The blue whale is the world’s largest living mammal: you’ve likely heard that fact so many times that you could recite it in your sleep. But have you ever stopped to wonder about the other end of the spectrum? What are the smallest mammals in the world?
Although most of them are not well-known to humankind, many amazing tiny mammals live on this planet. They adapt to harsh environments while dodging predators a hundred times their size. Although their miniature size can make life more challenging, it offers them ecological advantages, too: they can survive on less food and water than a larger animal can, and they can climb and hide in places larger animals could never go. Some tiny mammals even manage to be fierce and effective hunters!
Read on to learn more about the fascinating small worlds of these unusual mammals.
10. Pink Fairy Armadillo (Chlamyphorus truncatus) — above
The fabulous pink fairy armadillo is the smallest of all the armadillo species, at only 3.5–4.5 inches (90–115 mm) long. They live in central Argentina, where they spend most of their time underground. Their front claws allow them to dig through sandy earth freely, and they can completely bury themselves in seconds if frightened.