Magnifying South Africa’s tiniest Animals

Pictures: Magnifying South Africa’s tiniest Animals

There is much to celebrate when it comes to the diverse fauna and flora in South Africa. From the Big Five to the Marine Big Five, we are spoiled by Mother Nature’s beauty. But what about those little guys that we can barely see? They deserve some of the spotlight too. Here are the littlest animals in the country and where to find them.

The Blue Duiker 

The smallest of the Antelope species, the Blue Duiker is a charming little animal that only reaches between 30cm – 41cm in height. Females can weigh up to 4.7kgs and males up to 4kgs. The Blue Duiker can be found across the Eastern Cape and in parts of West Africa. This species is classified as rare in the South African Red Data Book.


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Moments like this… 💚 #fostersister #blueduiker #rescue #rehabilitation #savewildlife #releasewildlife #sanghapangolinproject #spp #hellofirsttime

Ein Beitrag geteilt von Maja Gudehus (@majalifeofabee) am

The Speckled Padloper Tortoise

The Speckled Padloper, the smallest tortoise species in the whole world, is found only in Namaqualand between South Africa and Namibia. This adorable reptile can grow between 6.1cm – 7.9cm.


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This is the smallest tortoise in the world. So chuffed we spotted it. #speckledtortoise #speckledpadloper #namaqualand #lovingthelivingworldaroundus

Ein Beitrag geteilt von Clip Clop (@clipclop_ct) am

The Scops Owl

Found throughout most African countries that lie below the Sahara, the African Scops Owl is only between 19cm – 24cm in height. Despite its tiny size, this owl has the largest ear opening of all Scops Owls.

The Bronze Mannikin

The smallest bird native to South Africa is the Bronze Mannikin. This bird is a resident of the Eastern part of South Africa, both males and females have the exact same markings. Adults weigh 7g -12g and can grow to 10cm in length.


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Warming up in the winter glow☀️ Bronze Mannikin //Gewone Fret //Spermestes cucullatus JvV©

Ein Beitrag geteilt von Jannesvv (@jannes_birdlife) am

The Flowerpot Snake

Rarely growing longer than 20cm in length, the Flowerpot snake is one of the world’s smallest snakes. It is the only snake species in the country to have originally come from Australasia, making them South Africa’s only introduced species of snake. The Flowerpot snake can be found throughout South Africa in soil and flowerpots – and is completely harmless.

A few foreign friends

The Bee Hummingbird

The minute Bee Hummingbird is the smallest bird in the world and we couldn’t resist leaving it out. Endemic to Cuba, this hummingbird only measures up to 5.6cm long when fully grown and weighs 1.6g – 2g. Despite its small size, this bird is an absolute machine and can beat its wings up to 200 times per second.


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Lovely! The splendid male bee hummingbird. By:@christiantillerphotography @birdsonearth

Ein Beitrag geteilt von B I R D S O N E A R T H (@birdsonearth) am

Pygmy Rabbit

The Pygmy rabbit is only found along the West Coast of the United States. Sadly it is an endangered species, it grows between 23.5cm – 29.5cm in length and resides predominantly in dense sagebrush.

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