What are mammals? One of the biggest examples we know about mammals is us, humans. The mammals are vertebrates and the first characteristic of them is that they produce milk with their mammary glands for their young ones. Second characteristic is that they have hair to protect themselves and the third is that they are warm-blooded. Other than these characteristics there are several other factors that make them mammals. There are more than 5,400 species of mammals known to the human kind and all are different. Some of the other examples of mammals other than humans are dogs, cats, whales, monkeys, apes, dolphins, deer, bats and many more. Mammals live on land such as seals, cows, etc while some mammals live in water too. Bats are the mammals that can fly. Mammals are of different heights and weights that can also live in different climatic conditions. Some mammals are big as a human while some are small as mouse lemur. These smallest mammals are so cute that you would like to keep them as your pet but some of the smallest ones are fierce too that are killers. So here is a list of top ten smallest mammals which you probably never saw or even heard their name even though they exist among us.
- Etruscan shrew
With a weight of only 1.8 g, Etruscan shrew are one of the smallest mammals known to the world which prefer to live in warmer and wet areas such as Europe, Malaysia, north Africa and can also be found in the Maltese islands located in middle of Mediterranean sea. They are also known as the Etruscan pygmy shrew or the white toothed pygmy shrew. Total length of this mammal is about 4cm excluding its tail and is known to have a fast metabolism which makes them eat more than their own body weight. They can hunt organisms with the same height and feeds mostly on small organisms like insects.
- Bumblebee bat
Bumblebee bat, which is also known as kitti’s hog nosed bat are found in western Thailand and southeast Myanmar. Till now, they are the smallest mammal known to the humans. The bat has a grey and a reddish brown coat with a cute nose that looks just like a pig’s. It feeds and hunts insects after evening in nearby forested areas. There has been a declaration of threat to this species of bat and they might go extinct soon according to the reports due to degrading habitats and the disturbance to roosting sites.
- Mouse lemur
Madagascar is the place from where this small mammal, which is known as mouse lemur belongs to as they are the natives of the place. Mouse lemur’s head is combined to their body, which makes them look like they don’t have a neck. These omnivores are the smallest primates that have a tail which is less than 27 centimeters in length. IUCN has declared them as the most endangered species.
- Pygmy jerboa
Weighing around 3 grams, the adorable pygmy jerboa is of 2 inches in length and its tail is about 3 to 10 inches long. The cute mammal is belongs to Pakistan and can also be found in Afghanistan. Pygmy jerboa went viral when someone uploaded a video on YouTube of it jumping which made it look like a tiny kangaroo back in 2010.
- Pygmy possum
Pygmy possum comes from the family of possums and their different species are natives of Australia, papua new guinea and Indonesia. Their total length is almost about 5 to 12cm and weighs between 10 and 50grams. Diet of this mammal is insects, seeds , nectar, fruit and pollen as they are omnivore. They use their long tail to grab tree branches as they are excellent climbers but prefer to stay on the land.
- Pygmy marmoset
Native to the rain forests of the western amazon basin in south America, pygmy marmoset are the smallest monkeys known to the human kind. Their weight is just 100 grams and are also the smallest primates in the world. It feeds on tree gum and is also known as gummivore. There has been a threat to them recently due to habitat loss and animal trade.
- Philippine tarsier
Philippine tarsier also known as mawumag to locals is native to the Philippines. Their height goes up to 160 cm due to which they are hard to locate. The diet of a tarsier includes mostly insects as they are insectivorous. Humans are a threat to them, so they sleep at day to avoid them and are active during the night. A tarsier sanctuary is situated in Corella which is a town to protect and conserve the species.
- Least weasel
Least weasel is native to Eurasia, north Africa and north America and today are also found in new Zealand, Malta and Crete. Talking about their features, they have a slender body with short legs and tail. They feed on small rodents, rabbits, eggs of birds and also the birds. Even though they look small and adorable, they are very fierce and active. IUCN has described them as the least concerned species as they are distributed widely.
- American shrew mole
Found in forested areas in the northwestern united states and Columbia, the American shrew mole is considered the smallest in the the family of moles. The reason behind the name shrew mole is their fur which is a feature of shrews and their head which is feature of moles. They feed on small insects, snails, earthworms and are mainly found around the bushes and leaf litters as they search for food. The shrew mole often becomes the food of predators like hawks, owls, weasels and raccoon.
- Paucident planigale
Paucident planigale is one of the smallest mammals known on earth and weighs around 6 to 15 grams with a body that is 60mm-80mm long. The diet of the mammal is lizards, beetles, locusts, spiders and other small mammals which makes it carnivorous. The paucident planigale is mostly found in areas with cracked clay or sand hills that provide it shelter during different climate conditions. Under flora and fauna guarantee act 1988, it is considered a threatened species in the state of Victoria.