The animal kingdom is full of all kinds of oddities that can make a person’s jaw drop. Anyone who has ever seen a majestic elephant knows that nature is an astonishing thing. Have you ever wondered what the smallest animals are? Sure, you’ve probably thought about giraffes, whales, and other big animals that cause the human mind to think a million thoughts per minute. You wouldn’t want to be in the water with a giant shark unless you were in the mood to become its lunch. However, there are some animals so small that they will blow your mind.
How small is too small to count as an animal?
You probably see small dogs and wonder if they’re really dogs. It’s hard to believe that a dog can be as big as a sheep or as tiny as a rat. Does it count as an animal if you can only see it under a microscope? Well, it depends on how you define animal. Many people reading this will define an animal as anything that’s well, an animal. Do you really need a definition of what an animal is? If you do, then you probably need to hit the books and go back to school. Animals of the wild are called such because of how they act and the characteristics that they share.
The smallest animal can only be seen under a microscope
The smallest animal in the world is something called a Myxobolus shekel. What is it? It’s a jellyfish that is 8.5 micrometers in length. Let’s put that into perspective; it would take 1,000 of these tiny little jellyfish to stretch out to an enormous one inch. Yes, it would take 1,000 of them to be an inch long. As you can imagine, just one of these little suckers is too small for the eyes to see. How do they find such small animals? People who have more time on their hands than you do look at all kinds of water samples underneath microscopes to find new things. It’s a pretty cool job, but it requires you to squint a lot to look into a microscope.
A frog is the smallest animal that you can see without a microscope
Do you enjoy sitting down to a meal that includes peas? If so, you’re eating something that’s the same size as the world’s smallest frog. The Paedophryne amauensis is just 8mm in size. Yes, that’s the size of a pea. The surprising thing about these tiny frogs from New Guinea is that they are no different than their bigger counterparts. The Paedophryne amauensis has eyes, brains, and other organs jam-packed into their tiny bodies. Surprisingly, nature can produce such little versions of everything needed for survival.
Bigger isn’t always better in the animal world
Size is only important to us because we need to determine if we should be afraid of the animal or not. As people scour more of the globe and get familiar with what’s on the planet, more discoveries will be made. These two may not be the smallest animals in a few short years, and something could replace them. Who knows, an entire colony of whatever they discover might be able to live on the tip of your finger.