Whenever we see a dog or a cat, our faces tilt to one side with a sly smile on our face. Well, most people believe that domesticated pets are one of the cutest animals in the world. Contrary to popular belief, there are tons of animals that you might have not even heard of, that can fill your heart with love and your face with an aww. While we can’t travel and explore everything that nature has to offer, we have rounded up some of the cutest animals in the world that would light up your face.
1. Fennec Fox
One of the smallest species of fox, the Fennec fox is native to the Sahara Desert and the Sinai Peninsula. They have enormous bat-like ears that help them radiate their body heat. Fennec foxes have soft fur coats that protect them from the sun during the day, and from the chilly weather during the night. They are one of the cutest animals in the world with cream-colored fur and black-tipped tails.
Also known as desert foxes, Fennec fox is a nocturnal animal that has adapted themselves to the desert environment and can survive in very high temperatures and very little water. They are smaller than a domestic cat, with tiny pointed faces making them look adorable. Fennec foxes live in small groups and feed on insects, birds, and small animals. One of the crucial threats to this exotic animal is commercial breeding and taming them as house pets. Fennec foxes can be found in the Sahara desert, sandy areas of North Africa, and Egypt.
These large and chubby animals are native to Australia. They have really short legs and a cute little pouch to carry their young ones. A wombat baby crawls into its mother’s pouch and stays there for about five months. Wombats are expert diggers and have backward pouches so it does not gather soil over its baby. They can be distinguished by their soft fur, bare noses, and large ears.
Wombats are cute and pudgy critters that emerge at night to feed on barks, roots, herbs, and grasses. They are not very social animals and live in their burrows in solitary. Wombats look pretty adorable when they walk with their short stubby legs. They can be found in forested and mountainous areas of Southern and Eastern Australia. Wombats recently gained attention for sharing their homes with animals escaping wildfires in Australia.
3. Elephant Shrew
These small mammals are related to elephants but are as small as a mouse. They have a long nose, just like an elephant, but can easily fit in the palm of your hand. They are one of the least known and the cutest animals in the world. Elephant shrews are native to Africa and can be found in almost any type of habitat. Along with their long nose, they have pretty long legs, which they use to hop along with a scaly tail.
One of the fastest small mammals, the Elephant Shrew, is a diurnal furry animal. They use their long trunk-like nose to feast on insects. They have large eyes and ears, which they use to protect themselves from predators. These territorial animals are not very social and believe in mating for life. Even though Elephant shrews are widespread all over Africa, some species have become prone to extinction. One of the species of the elephant shrew, the Somali elephant shrew, which had been missing for more than 50 years, was recently rediscovered by a group of researchers in Djibouti.
4. Japanese Weasel
These small mammals are native to Japan. Japanese Weasels have a slender body with a long tail and are covered in soft orange-brown fur. They also have a cute little brown patch on their nose. Japanese Weasels are territorial animals that are not social species and prefer to live alone. They can be found in the islands of Honshu, Kyushu, and Shikoku. They typically occur in farmlands, woods, mountainous or forested areas near a source of water.
Japanese Weasels are diurnal animals with sensitive nose and ears. They have really short legs and a long tail, which makes them look no less than a cartoon character, making them one of the cutest animals in the world. They do not give up easily and would climb down trees, go through tunnels, and even swim in search of their prey. They prefer living in hollow logs and make their den cozy with soft feathers and grass. Japanese Weasels have seen a 25% decline in their population in the last 30 years. They have been listed as the near-threatened species in the IUCN Red List.
5. Ili Pika
One of the rarest animals on the planet, the Ili Pika, was discovered accidentally by a group of researchers in 1983. There have been just 29 sightings of these rare species in the Tianshan Mountains of northwestern China. These small animals have large ears with a face like a teddy bear, making them one of the cutest animals in the world. Ili Pika is mountain-dwelling mammals with large rusty-red spots on its forehead and neck.
Ili Pika is carnivorous mammals that can be found at mountain peaks or inland cliffs in northwest China. They live in high altitudes between 9,200 and 13,450 feet. Although they belong to the carnivorous species, they sustain mainly on herbs, grasses, and other mountainous plants. These small species can tolerate extremely cold temperatures, and do not hibernate. Ili Pikas are extremely rare species with no documented sightings for almost 30 years. They were rediscovered by researchers in the summer of 2014.
One of the smallest antelope species, the Dik-dik, lives in the bushlands of eastern and southern Africa. They have small horns that are ringed and slightly slanted backward. These antelopes look delicate with grayish-brown fur and large, dark, beautiful eyes. Dik-diks also have a long projecting nose and large ears, making them look extremely adorable. They can be found in shrublands and savannas of Kenya and Tanzania.
Dik-diks are territorial animals and can survive extreme temperatures of up to 104°F. They are herbivorous animals, and their diet consists of fruits, berries, shoots, and foliage. They can survive on very little water, because of their body’s advanced cooling capability. They are absolutely water independent and get water from the vegetation they eat. These dwarf antelopes are shy and conceal themselves in bushes most of the time.
One of the smallest marine mammals, the Sea Otter is native to the northern and eastern coasts of the North Pacific Ocean. They spend the majority of their time in the water, but they do come ashore once in a while to rest and sleep. These webbed feet mammals have exceptionally thick, water-resistant fur that keeps them warm and dry during their swims. Sea otters sleep by laying on their back, floating on the surface of the water, making them look adorable. They are one of the cutest animals in the world and can be found along the coasts of the Pacific Ocean in Asia and North America.
Sea Otters are capable of exclusively living in the ocean, but they do choose to come out on the land and walk around for a while. They love to keep themselves clean and wash their coat with their teeth and paws after every meal. They are as clever as they are cuddly. These social animals float in a group of almost 100 individuals, clasping their paws together, so they don’t drift away from each other. Sea otters are listed as endangered by the IUCN, with only 3,000 individuals left in the wild.
These small quilled animals have inhabited the earth for almost 15 million years. Hedgehogs have as many as 6,000 quills on their body. They can be found through parts of Asia, Africa, Europe, and New Zealand. These tiny mammals have small legs and a cone-shaped face making them look absolutely adorable. These friendly creatures make great pets and bond with their humans quite easily. Hedgehogs are one of the most feasible and low maintenance pocket pets. They can adapt to different temperatures, and hibernate in extreme temperatures.
Hedgehogs prefer to sleep during the day, making them one of the best pets for students. These nocturnal mammals feed on snails, frogs, insects, snakes, grassroots, bird eggs, and fruits. They have weak eyesight and depend upon their sense of smell while hunting. Hedgehogs have a coat of stiff and sharp spines. When attacked they roll into a prickly, tight, unappetizing ball that discourages their predators. Hedgehogs can live in a wide range of habitat including savannas, deserts, forests, scrublands, and suburban gardens.
9. Harp Seal
One of the species of earless seal, the Harp seal, is native to the northernmost Arctic ocean and Atlantic ocean. They love cruising in the chilly waters and spend very little time on land. Young pups are born with long, solid white fur and pure black eyes, making them look beautiful and adorable at the same time. Harp seals are one of the cutest animals in the world. They have thick fur that helps them absorb sunlight and keep them warm. They are migratory animals and can travel 3,100 miles to feed themselves and their pups.
Also known as the Saddleback seal, the Harp seals are social animals and live in large groups. They are sleek swimmers and can stay underwater for more than 15 minutes. They have a pretty diverse diet and can dive into deep depths in search of food. They eat around 67 species of fish and 70 species of invertebrates. Harp seals are prey to poachers because of their high valued fluffy fur. Their population has decreased by at least 50 percent in the last three decades.
These herd animals are soft and docile creatures. Alpacas are native to South America and graze at an altitude of 16,000 feet. These pack animals are raised for their soft wool. They have inhabited the earth for more than 3 million years and were domesticated almost 6,000 years ago. There are no wild alpacas on the planet. Alpacas are the smallest member of the camel family, with large eyes, long necks, small heads, and large pointed ears. They do not have teeth in the top front of their mouth, giving an appearance of an underbite, which makes them look adorable.
Alpacas are social animals that live in family groups. They have soft, padded feet that help them easily climb mountainous terrains. They are strict gazers, and their diet mainly consists of pasture grass, silage, hay, wood, bark, and stems. They have excellent eyesight and hearing capabilities that they use to alert their herd and their human of the danger. They rarely spit on humans but will only do if they are abused or frightened. Alpacas have the largest population in the world, which includes half of all the animals on the planet.
11. Red Panda
This dwarfed panda is roughly the size of a domesticated cat. The red panda is native to the eastern Himalayas and southwestern China. They have a kitten-like face, cinnamon red fur, and a fluffy ringed tail that makes them look adorable. Red pandas are one of the cutest animals in the world. They use their long ringed tails as wraparound blankets during chilly weather. They have inhabited the planet for more than 5 million years and can be found in India, Nepal, China, Bhutan, and Burma.
Also known as a Red bear-cat, the Red Panda spend most of their lives on trees. They are most active during the dawn and dusk and live mostly in cool, temperate forests dominated by thick bamboo. Red pandas do love eating bamboos, just like the giant panda. But they also eat other foods like roots, eggs, fruits, and acorns. They are territorial mammals that use trees to escape from predators and to sunbathe during winters. Red Panda numbers have decreased by more than 40% in the last 50 years. There are less than 10,000 individuals left in the wild and are listed as endangered by the IUCN.
These tree-dwelling animals are native to Australia. Koalas have a large head with round, fluffy ears, and a large spoon-shaped nose, making them look like a cute teddy bear. They have a pouch in the front of their body, for the development and safety of their young ones. Baby koalas are called ‘Joeys’ and they spend six months in their mother’s pouch. The next six months are spent riding on their mothers back and crawling down to the pouch whenever they need to sleep. They are the world’s most iconic and cutest animal species.
Widely known for their sleeping, Koalas can sleep up to 20 hours a day. They are awake mostly during the night hours. When they are not sleeping, they usually spend their time eating. Koalas depend on the eucalyptus tree for both shelter and food. They also do not depend much on water and replenish themselves from the moisture in the leaves. They can be found in Queensland, New South Wales, Victoria, and South Australia. Koalas are listed as vulnerable by the IUCN in 2016. According to the Australia Koala Foundation, there can be as few as 43,000 koalas left in the wild.
13. Beluga Whale
Beluga Whales are one of the most familiar and easily distinguished whales. They are native to the Arctic ocean. They have a fat, bulging forehead that allows them to make different facial expressions. This is what makes them one of the cutest animals in the world. They also do not have a dorsal fin, making it easy for them to swim under the ice. Beluga whales are very social animals and live together in small groups known as pods. They can mimic the sound of clicks, clamps, and whistles very easily.
Also known as melonheads, the Beluga whales are slow swimmers but can dive up to 2,300 feet below the surface of the water. They feed on small fishes, worms, and crustaceans. Even though they have teeth, Belugas do not chew their food instead, swallow their prey whole. They are one of the friendliest whales on the planet. According to some researchers, they are accustomed to human interaction. The Beluga Whale was listed as Near Threatened by the IUCN in 2008. Their population has decreased by almost 80% in the last 40 years. There are about 279 Beluga Whales left in the wild.
Whenever we see adorable and cute animals, our brain releases dopamine, which makes us feel happy. We have put together a list of some of the cutest wild animals that live on our planet.
So what’s the world’s cutest animal? Do let us know in the comment section.