Pygmy Animals Are So Cute We Dare Your Heart Not To Melt

They may not be the biggest animals in the kingdom, but pygmy animals are unquestionably the cutest. It’s impossible to look a miniature marmoset and not melt a little on the inside. And have you seen the pygmy hippo? Or the pygmy seahorse? If you have a favorite animal, we guarantee there is a pocket-size version that you wish you could take home and raise yourself. The bad news is you can’t (usually). The good news is you have this gallery to keep you smiling for as long as your need. Just wait until you see the pygmy goat!

The Pygmy Mongoose Is Africa’s Smallest Carnivore

Say hello to your new best friend, the pygmy mongoose! Also known as the dwarf mongoose, this miniature version of its brothers and sisters still packs a punch! Pygmy snakes beware: this mongoose is hungry, and you’re on the menu!

Coming in at just under 12 inches long (maximum), the pygmy mongoose is Africa’s smallest carnivore. The soft fur on this cutie is brown, but the color is variable and can range from yellow to almost black.

Pygmy Hippos Are One Of Two Hippo Species Still Alive Today

A 14-day-old pygmy hippopotamus, native to the forests and swamps of West Africa, is presented to the press at the Buin Zoo, in Buin, about 50km south of Santiago, on July 5, 2017. / AFP PHOTO / Martin BERNETTI (Photo credit should read MARTIN BERNETTI/AFP/Getty Images)
A 14-day-old pygmy hippopotamus, native to the forests and swamps of West Africa, is presented to the press at the Buin Zoo, in Buin, about 50km south of Santiago, on July 5, 2017. / AFP PHOTO / Martin BERNETTI (Photo credit should read MARTIN BERNETTI/AFP/Getty Images)

The pygmy hippo was discovered in the 1800s and was introduced to zoos in the 1900s. A smaller version of the huge and more territorial standard hippo, pygmies co-exist well in zoos, where most of the research on them has been done.

One interesting thing about pygmy hippos is where they may have descended from. According to recent research, hippos aren’t related to pigs, but whales instead. That means pygmy hippos are literally land whales! Up next, blink and you’ll miss the pygmy owl.

Pygmy Owls Are Anything But Typical

Photo Credit: Arterra/UIG via Getty Images
Photo Credit: Arterra/UIG via Getty Images

The pygmy owl is technically a member of the “typical owl” animal family, but we’d called this looker anything but typical. Look at that pose! It’s ready for its closeup! Making matters more adorable, pygmy owls are more commonly referred to as “owlets.”

If you’re hoping to see a pygmy owl for yourself, don’t be fooled by the daylight in this picture. They tend to be nocturnal, so get ready for a long night. If you’re lucky, you might see them hunting large insects and other “owlet” delicacies.

Pygmy Seahorses Are So Small You Might Need A Microscope To See Them

Photo Credit: Reinhard Dirscherl/ullstein bild via Getty Images
Photo Credit: Reinhard Dirscherl/ullstein bild via Getty Images

Pygmy seahorses are the smallest animals on our list. Reaching a maximum size of just under one inch, these incredibly tiny animals weren’t discovered until 1969. Since then, several different species have been identified in the wild.

Most pygmy seahorses live in soft corals and suck in food with the tubular mouth. Since they use camouflage to blend in with their surroundings, finding these “aww” inducing animals is very hard. And don’t confuse them for dwarf seahorses. The two are very different species according to science. Still ahead, have you ever seen a pygmy shrew?

Pygmy Shrews Are Only Found In Ireland

Photo Credit: DeAgostini/Getty Images
Photo Credit: DeAgostini/Getty Images

There must be something about the water in Ireland. It is the only place you can found Eurasian pygmy shrews. They do have a North American cousin, but it’s nowhere near as huggable.

This pygmy shrew is about half the size of a normal shrew and has one of the fastest metabolisms in the animal kingdom. Because of this, it must eat three times its body weight in food every day. How do we sign up for that diet plan?

Pygmy Slow Lorises Need Environmental Protection

Photo Credit: Matt Cardy/Getty Images
Photo Credit: Matt Cardy/Getty Images

Pygmy slow lorises need your help! Found in Asia, this pygmy animal is on the brink of extinction as a result of habitat destruction, the medicine trade, and the exotic pet trade. In China alone, it’s estimated there are less than 500 of these beautiful animals left.

Efforts to protect the pygmy slow loris have shown mixed results. The animal has been found in over 20 protected areas, but population numbers have not been properly recorded. Up next, get ready for cute overload when you see the pygmy goat!

Pygmy Goats Are The Perfect Pet

Photo Credit: Animal Press / Barcroft Images / Barcroft Media via Getty Images
Photo Credit: Animal Press / Barcroft Images / Barcroft Media via Getty Images

Pygmy goats have become popular in the United States as a pet. They are very friendly, well-tempered, and stay a manageable size. They only thing they’re divas about is their water. If it’s not kept fresh, they will refuse to drink it.

If you’re worried about how a pygmy goat will react to other pets in the house, you don’t have to fret at all. These animals love having new friends to play with! Just make sure you keep them in a secure area, as they are vulnerable to predators if they get lost.

Pygmy Elephant Are Not The Same As Dwarf Elephants

Photo Credit: MOHD RASFAN/AFP/Getty Images
Photo Credit: MOHD RASFAN/AFP/Getty Images

Pygmy elephants are common in both Africa and Asia, but should not be confused with dwarf elephants. Dwarf elephants evolved as a result of “island dwarfing.” Pygmy elephants are considered a “morph” of the African forest elephant and occupy the same habitat.

The Borneo elephant is the most well-known form of a pygmy elephant. They live in the tropical rainforests of Borneo where their ancestry has yet to be traced. Thought to be a descendant of Asian elephants, recent studies have shown they likely belong to a new subspecies.

Pygmy Hedgehogs Have Been Popular Pets For Thousands Of Years

Photo Credit: Natasha Fernandes / Barcroft Ima / Barcroft Media via Getty Images
Photo Credit: Natasha Fernandes / Barcroft Ima / Barcroft Media via Getty Images

Pygmy hedgehogs are more commonly known as four-toed or domesticated hedgehogs. The species, like the pygmy goat, is most commonly kept as a pet. Records show they have been pets since the Roman Empire started domesticating them.

Romans found several uses for the quills on pygmy hedgehogs. They found them useful to help train other animals and assist in weaning calves from suckling. In more modern times they became popular in the 1980s and now are available in a variety of colors.

Pygmy Raccoons Aren’t As Scary As Urban Raccoons

Looking much less threatening than the urban raccoons you’re used to seeing, pygmy raccoons are only found on Cozumel Island in Mexico. They are considered a critically endangered species, with less than 300 estimated left alive in the wild.

Not much is known about the pygmy raccoon. It is believed they are nocturnal and generally solitary. “Family groups” have been observed in the wild too. Scientists have classified them as “generalist omnivores” with a seasonal diet consisting mostly of seasonal vegetation and crabs.