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Smallest Species – Rodent, Deer, Mustelid

Smallest Species – Rodent, Deer, Mustelid


Pygmy Jerboa – the smallest rodent in the world
  • Also known as the Desert Rat
  • They live in the desert – hence their alternate name
  • This little species is from Asia and North America
  • The large ears help to keep them cool, the same way an elephants ears work – the blood vessels in the ears being close to the surface of the ear allowing heat to escape easily and quickly as needed
  • The large ears also provide excellent hearing, allowing them to hear predators and escape before the predator gets too close
  • They are only 2 inches in length
  • They can jump up to 9ft in length
  • They eat plants and insects, and get most of their water this way
  • These tiny rodents have litter sizes of between 2-6 pups (babies)
  • A solitary species – exceptions made during breeding seasons, and sometimes in limited environments, loose colonies may be formed to better share out resources
Northern Pudú – the smallest deer in the world
  • They range in size from 32-35 cm in height
  • They can grow up to 85 cm in length
  • The Northern Pudú is from ColombiaEcuador, and Peru
  • Their slightly larger counterpart is the Southern Pudú, it is from southern Chile and southern Argentina, and can grow up to 44cm in height
  • The males have 2 short, pointy horns rather than tall staggered antlers
  • The females do not have horns or antlers
  • Males are called Bucks or Stags, and the females are called Does
  • The fawns (baby deer) have a lighter brown colouration with white stripes/ spots to help them blend into the undergrowth and stay safe
  • The adults have a solid, darker brown colouration

Least Weasel – the smallest mustelid in the world
  • Approximately 11 – 26 cm (4 – 10 inches) in length (from tip of nose to base of tail)
  • This species weighs approximately 25 grams!
  • Despite its small size, it is capable of killing a prey 5 – 10 times its own weight
  • Babies are called kits, males are known as a Jack or a hob, and females are known as a Jill or a doe
  • The litter size of the Least Weasel is between 3 – 10 kits
  • Their diet is made up of small rodents, small birds, bird’s eggs, poultry and rabbits
  • Large birds of prey, such as owls and hawks, are predators of the Least Weasel
  • They are also the smallest carnivore in Britain
  • These tiny weasels live in a range of habitats – including grasslands, sand dunes, woodland and mountains
  • They must eat roughly between 40% – 60% of their body weight daily

Smallest Species – Bird, Reptile, Amphibian

Smallest Species – Bird, Reptile, Amphibian


Bee Hummingbird – the smallest bird in the world
  • Approximately 5-6 cm in length (from tip of bill to end of tail)
  • This species weighs approximately 1.6-2.6 g
  • Males are smaller than females, on average being 5.5 cm in length and 1.6 g in weight
  • Females are the larger of the species, on average being 6.2 cm in length and 2.6 g in weight
  • Mainly found in Cuba
  • Their wings can beat up to 200 times per second
  • They will visit an average of 1,500 flowers daily
  • These tiny birds must eat half their total body mass (and drink eight times their total body mass) every day to support their high metabolism
  • A solitary species, exceptions made only during breeding times
Jaragua Sphaero a.k.a. Dwarf Gecko – the smallest reptile in the world
  • This little gecko is only 0.6-0.8 inches in length; averaging a length of 0.63 inches
  • It weighs just 0.00455 of an ounce!
  • This species lives in the Caribbean; many in the protected Jaragua National Park
  • This is a very endangered species – threatened with extinction!
  • It is a terrestrial species, spending most of the day on the floor hiding in undergrowth
  • They do, however, spend their nights sleeping off the ground (hopefully away from predators!)
  • The Virgin Islands dwarf gecko is a very similar size measuring an average size of 0.71 inches in length
  • These 2 lizards are the smallest of the 23,000 species in the group Amniotes (all reptiles, birds and mammals)
Paedophryne amauensis (frog) – the smallest amphibian in the world
  • Also the smallest of all vertebrates
  • Has no common name, only the scientific name
  • From Papua New Guinea; lives amongst leaf litter in rainforests
  • Average size is 0.27 inches in length
  • The males are smaller than the females when fully grown
  • Discovered in 2009; officially announced in 2012
  • Discovered by Christopher Austin
  • They fill a small species specific, ecological niche
  • They can jump 30 times longer than their body size

 

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