13 Cutest Animals in the World You Have to See to Believe
Need a reason to smile? The cutest animals in the world are here to provide the ultimate mood boost.
For a daily dose of dopamine, there's nothing quite like photos of cute animals. Fuzzy, chubby, and sweet, the cutest animals in the world run the gamut from silly to snuggly, and provide humans with the ultimate company during our more stressed-out moments. Depending on where you live, you may not even be aware of some of the adorable animals that make up our global wildlife population.
Animals play an essential role by spreading seeds and encouraging plant growth, regulating insect and pest populations, and reducing disease transmission. Unfortunately, many of the animals that bring us so much joy simply by existing are endangered due to habitat loss caused by climate change and human land use. It’s important that we learn about how we can protect these animals to help them thrive and keep them from becoming extinct.
From the big-eyed chevrotain to the rotund hedgehog, we’ve rounded up a list of some of the cutest animals in the world for your scrolling (and awww-ing) pleasure.
13 of the Cutest Animals in the World
The pika is an adorable mountain-dwelling animal that can be found in Asia and North America. With its stumpy limbs and round and short body, the pika is undeniably cute—and its call only adds to the effect. Pika’s waddle and are known for carrying around small bunches of flowers to eat during the winter.
Klipspringers are small antelopes that live in Eastern and Southern Africa. With their diminutive hooves (only the diameter of a dime), big ears, and doe eyes, they’ve got all the makings of a super-cute mammal.
3. Japanese Weasle
The Japanese weasel thrives in cold winter weather, with adorable (and slightly silly) eyes and a beautiful coat that gives it its unique look.
4. Pygmy Marmoset
The pygmy marmoset—aka a pocket monkey or a dwarf monkey—is a miniature monkey that inhabits the Amazon rainforests of South America. It’s one of the smallest primates in the world and is the smallest monkey—which is what makes it so adorable. Its fluffy fur and curious expressions help, too.
5. Harbor Seals
Harbor seals are among the most common (and the cutest) marine animals on the U.S. coast. The chubby friends are akin to sea puppies with their playful positions and big round eyes, and are (fortunately) protected by the Marine Mammal Act.
6. Fennec Fox
The fennec fox is a small, delicate fox (the smallest of all canids) with an adorable baby face, fluffy paws (the better to protect from the scorching sand), and huge ears. Native to the Sahara Desert, the fennec fox's enormous ears help it shed heat which helps it keep cool in such hot climates.
The chevrotain, also known as the mouse deer, is the world’s tiniest hooved mammal (about the size of a rabbit, weighing in at 4-33 pounds). Native to Southeast Asia, India, and parts of Africa, the chevrotain is nocturnal and has undergone minimal evolution over the last 30 million years, earning them the nickname of "living fossils."
8. Sea Otter
Videos of sea otters have been going viral for years—and for good reason. Sea otters are native to the Northern coast of the Pacific Ocean, where they float, collect rocks, snack on crabs and urchins, and even hold hands. Seriously? Come on.
The hedgehog is a round and spiky forager native to Africa. Despite their sharp quills, the cuddly and low-maintenance cuties have gained popularity as pets. And if threatened? The small animal simply rolls up into a ball (they sleep that way, too).
If you're in need of an instant grin, Google "quokka selfies." Quokkas, aka short-tailed wallabies, are marsupials native to Australia with joeys that live in their mother's pouches until they can survive on their own. They’re a huge tourist draw, known for posing for selfies with island visitors—big smiles and all.
The meerkat is an adorable cat-like mongoose. Native to Southern Africa, the meerkat’s big eyes and mischievous face, combined with its vertical, two-legged stance, make it adorable enough to inspire cult-followed television shows. Though the meerkat has a commanding presence while surveying its surroundings, the mammal is a small one, standing at around 14 inches tall.
12. Red Panda
Red pandas, native to the Eastern Himalayas and Southwestern China, look like a cross between a fox, a giant panda, and a raccoon—combining all of the cutest elements of each. Their thick red fur and striped, bushy tails, and small size (slightly larger than a housecat) make them particularly memorable.
Unfortunately, red pandas are classified as endangered due to habitat loss and degradation.
These wooly, domesticated pigs are native to Hungary, and are the only surviving breed of pig to have a long coat—which makes them that much cuter. Once close to extinction, there are about 60,000 Mangalitsa piglets born every year.
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