Pygmy animals are relatively rare…they’re just like their regular-sized relatives, except they are significantly smaller.
It’s a weird thing that happens in nature, but it ends up being absolutely adorable. They may be small, but their cuteness factor is off the charts!
There may not be that many pygmy animal species around the world, but the ones we could find are amazing.
1. Pygmy marmoset
These adorable primates are some of the smallest in the world. They’re found in the rainforests of the Amazon Basin and eat insects, fruits, and nectar.
2. Pygmy leaf chameleon
There are many species of pygmy chameleons, such as the Kenyan pygmy chameleon, Marshall’s pygmy chameleon, and the spectral pygmy chameleon. They are all very small and most of them are kept as exotic pets.
3. Pygmy mongoose
The pygmy mongoose, otherwise known as the common dwarf mongoose, is just like its bigger cousins. The only difference is that this mongoose is a little smaller. It’s just as vicious, so snakes beware!
4. Pygmy jerboa
This itty bitty rodent can be found in Africa and the Middle East. Its diet consists mainly of seeds and grasses, and it needs very little water to survive. Because of its hind legs and way of hopping, many consider this adorable animal to be like a tiny kangaroo.
5. Pygmy owls
There are roughly 25-35 species of pygmy owls, or owlets, and most of them can be found in western North America and Central America. They may be small, but these birds are fierce raptors!
6. Pygmy nuthatch
A very tiny songbird, the nuthatch is about 4 inches long and only weighs 10 grams. They can be found all over North America. Listen to their call — you’ve probably heard one of these before!
7. Borneo pygmy elephant
The Borneo pygmy elephant lives in Indonesia and Malaysia. They are endangered and their population has declined by at least 50% over the last three generations. Habitat loss, degradation, and fragmentation are the main threats to their population.
8. Pygmy hippopotamus
Although it is a “pygmy” species, this hippo is still pretty big! Found in West Africa, it is one of the only two species of hippo on earth.
9. Pygmy shrew
There are three species of pygmy shrew in the world: the American pygmy shrew, the Eurasian pygmy shrew, and the Etruscan pygmy shrew. The American pygmy shrew (only 2 inches long) must eat three times its body weight every day, requiring it to eat every 30 minutes to stay alive.
10. Pygmy seahorse
This is the first known pygmy seahorse species, called Hippocampus bargibanti. It’s only 2 centimeters in length. Because it spends its entire adult life anchored to a specific type of coral, experts had trouble breeding and raising these small seahorses in captivity until relatively recently.
11. Pygmy slow loris
This li’l guy can be found in the forest habitats of Vietnam, Laos, eastern Cambodia, and China. Because of habitat destruction, the exotic pet trade, and the medicine trade, these small animals are on the brink of extinction.
12. Pygmy goat
These goats are a breed of miniature goat. They’re kept mainly as pets, but can also produce milk or be working animals.
13. Pygmy hedgehog
The most common species of domesticated hedgehogs is the four-toed hedgehog. It is actually a pygmy species, since it is smaller than its European cousin.
14. Dusky pygmy rattlesnake
This pygmy snake is a pit viper subspecies. Although it is adorable, it is also venomous.
15. Cozumel pygmy raccoon
You’ll only find this tiny, adorable raccoon on the island of Cozumel off the coast of the Yucatan Peninsula in Mexico.
16. Eastern pygmy possum
This possum can be found in southeastern Australia in a range of habitats. It eats insects, nectar, and pollen and spends most of its time being adorable. During the winter, these critters curl up in a hibernation-like state.
Pygmy animals may be adorable, but remember, most of them aren’t meant to be pets. (Especially the venomous vipers.)