smallest mammal

The smallest mammal on earth currently known to us is the etruscan shrew. At an average weight of 2.1 grams and an average length of 40mm, the only thing they dwarf is the competition!

Etruscan shrews hold the title of smallest mammal currently alive on earth, at least that we know about. They are incredibly small animals and, like every other animal, have a lot of interesting things that may surprise you beyond their most infamous trait.

Etruscan shrew fact file

The tiny fellas are native in lots of grass and woodlands around the world, such as in Europe, Northern Africa and Western Asia. Very widespread indeed!

Despite being so small, these animals eat an unbelievably large amount of food. Every single day, it consumes almost double its own weight in insects and other small creatures (somehow smaller than itself, that is!).

They have a ridiculously fast metabolism, meaning they can actually starve to death if they go without eating for just a couple of hours. They also have incredibly fast heart and breathing rates when compared to other animals.

smallest mammal

Unlike other small animals, these shrews do not hibernate as they are unable to. This is because they have extremely limited reserves of energy and therefore must constantly scavenge for food to fuel themselves. This means they are constantly on the go.

They only live for anywhere between a full year to only half. In this time, they have multiple litters of around 4 children that only need to gestate (be inside the womb) for just under a month. This short gestation period means they are able to have multiple litters throughout their lifespan and this prevents their entire species from going extinct.

Yes etruscan shrews are incredibly small, but there are other creatures that come close to the title of smallest mammal. Here i want to run through some of those to help you appreciate the smaller side of the animal kingdom.

The other smallest mammals

smallest mammal

Starting off our list of runner ups for smallest mammal is the american shrew mole. Weighing in at a humble 10 grams and measuring only 75 millimeters by average they are certainly a small creature. That being said, their tail is a further 35 millimeters. This means that from their tops of their heads to the tips of their tails they measure in at an average of around 110 millimeters, or 11 centimeters!

Another close runner up was the tasmanian pygmy possum, weighing only 8.4 grams and being only about 70 millimeters long (134 if you count their prehensile tails).

smallest mammal

If you’re unfamiliar with the baluchistan pygmy jerboa, do yourself a favor and learn about them. They are one of the silliest looking but most lovable little creatures and they have my heart. With an average weight of 3.75 grams and an average height of 43 millimeters, they have certainly earned a place on this list.

The baluchistan pygmy jerboa actually holds the title of world’s smallest rodent. However, it shares this title with our next mammal: the african pygmy mouse. This little guy measures in at an average weight of 7.2 grams and an average length of only around 110 millimeters (from head to tail!).

Extra information

Animal-Club provides animal parties or animal handling workshops. You will be able to see, learn and interact with many wonderful animals with the help of our presenters. Our mobile zoo has many friendly animals such as rabbits, tarantulas, geckos, vinegaroons and more, perfect for an animal party. We can also , come over to your school for an animal school visit or arrange for an animal workshop with us where the children can learn about looking after animals and animal behaviour, and have fun too.