Small, smaller, smallest ...
Many invertebrates are so small that they are invisible to humans with the naked eye. These include, for example, some species of pygmy wasps, which colonize almost the entire earth, but remain largely unrecognized because of their small size. The smallest wasp, the Costa Rica-based Kikiki Huna, measures only fractions of a millimeter and is therefore considered the smallest insect in the world. Some mite species and the common dwarf beetle Baranowskiella ehnstromi, which grow up in Europe, are only fractions of a millimeter long and therefore become visible to humans only under a magnifying glass or a microscope. In addition to such tiny representatives of insects and arachnids, however, there are above all some types of vertebrates, which provide surprises with their small body size.
Among monkeys and primates there are two species that fit into the palm of an adult human due to their minimal size. With an average body length of nine centimeters, the Berthe mouse lemur (see also Leprechaun lemur) is considered the smallest representative of primates. It is found only in the Kirindy Mitea National Park in Madagascar and is therefore considered a very rare species. Although slightly larger, but still a tiny is the Pygmy Marmoset or Cebuella pygmaea, which is considered due to its head-rump length of an average of 13 centimeters as the smallest of the real monkeys. The Pygmy-silk monkey prefers to live in the tall treetops of the rainforests of Colombia, Ecuador, Bolivia and Peru and weighs just 15 grams at birth.
One of the world's smallest mammals is the peanut bat, which lives in Thailand and grows no larger than 33 millimeters. These animals live in colonies that can span up to a hundred animals. Biologists assume that the stock is limited today only to about four thousand copies, which live in several caves in Thailand and Burma. Its role as the smallest mammal, the pig's nose bat shares with the Etruscan mouse, whose lifestyle is relatively little known. Among other things, it is native to the Mediterranean and is also barely larger than 35 millimeters. In contrast to the tiny bat, however, it is considered as not endangered, as it inhabits many habitats and often stays in the vicinity of human settlements. Also among the rabbits is Brachylagus idahoensis an absolute tiny animal known in German-speaking countries as the dwarf rabbit. However, he is not closely related to the pet-like and much larger dwarf rabbit. This world's smallest, native to the western US representatives of the hare reaches an average length of about 24 centimeters, the females are significantly larger than the males. They give birth to up to eight juveniles several times a year, measuring barely more than seventy millimeters at birth.
The Bee Elf, a species of hummingbird native to Cuba, is not only the smallest bird in the world, but also describes the representative of the warm-blooded vertebrate that reaches the smallest body size. Adult specimens measure on average just five or six centimeters and bring a maximum weight of two grams on the scales. The nest of this hummingbird species, in which the female bee elf lays her eggs, is correspondingly tiny. These are hardly larger than small peas with a diameter of only a few millimeters.
Among the fish is the only native to Australia Stout Infantfish, a representative of the goby -like with a body length of a few millimeters as the world's smallest species. Even Paedocypris, which measures only a maximum of eight millimeters, is to be mentioned as one of the smallest representatives of the fish. Its small body size makes this swamp of Sumatra native an absolute survivor, as it can easily survive periods of extreme dehydration and feel most comfortable in particularly acid waters with a pH of up to 2.9.
As the smallest turtle in the world, Homopus signatus measures just six to a maximum of eight centimeters, with the genus Leptotyphlopidae living in America, Africa and Asia nearly ninety different species of snakes, which are known as the smallest of this order with a length of only a maximum of eleven centimeters are.