Aside from your usual cute and cuddly puppies, kittens, and other adorable house pets, there are so many other cute animals out there in the wild!
Although we can all have different definitions of what cute is, we’ve compiled this list of creatures that will hopefully make you say aww!
You might be very familiar with some of the cute animals on this list, while others are pretty unique and less known. Here are some of the cutest animals, in no specific order, found all around the world!
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1. Fennec Fox
The fennec fox is the smallest species belonging to the family Canidae. They have large perky ears, bushy tails, and petite snouts. Mature individuals typically weigh no more than 3 pounds (1.4 kg)!
Fennec foxes can be found in the Sahara Desert of North Africa. Their range also extends eastward to Sinai and the Arabian Peninsula. These cute canids have adapted to the extreme desert heat by panting rapidly to stay cool.
Their large ears aren’t just for looks. Fennec foxes feed on insects and small rodents in their range. They use their ears to listen for critters moving under the sand. The fennec fox is nocturnal. They spend most of the day hiding out in burrows and hunt for prey at night.
2. Dik Dik
The dik dik is a type of small antelope native to Africa. They live in a wide variety of habitats, including arid thorn scrub, open woodlands, and open plains.
Dik diks are very small. They only reach up to about 40.5 inches (103 cm) tall at the shoulder. Adults typically weigh no more than 13 pounds (6 kg).
The most prominent feature of dik diks is their elongated snout. There are four species of dik dik. The Günther’s dik-dik and Salt’s dik dik have longer snouts that droop down. The other two species include Kirk’s dik dik and silver dik dik.
The black blotches located at the inner corner of their eyes aren’t just for looks. Dik diks have preorbital glands in this area, which excrete a substance they use to mark their territory. Most dik dik populations are stable.
Deemed one of the happiest animals on Earth, the quokka is a marsupial native to Australia. It belongs to the family Macropodidae. Macropods include other herbivorous marsupials, such as wallabies and kangaroos.
They have cute round ears, short front legs, and a tiny button nose. The largest concentration of quokkas is on Rottnest Island. The island is located just off the southern coast of Western Australia, west of the city Perth.
Smaller populations can be found on the mainland in the southwestern corner of Western Australia.
Quokkas were last assessed as vulnerable in 2012 by the International Union for Conservation of Nature and Natural Resources (IUCN). Human activities, such as land clearing and urbanization, have contributed to population depletion.
4. Elephant Shrew
Elephant shrews belong to the superorder Afrotheria. Some other mammals belonging to this suborder include hyraxes, elephants, and golden moles. There are at least 17 living species of elephant shrews.
One of the most common species is the four-toed elephant shrew. These little critters are native to Africa. They’re easily recognizable by their elongated snout, resembling an elephant trunk hence their name.
Contrary to their name, elephant shrews aren’t true shrews. They’re more closely related to their Afrotheria relatives than actual shrew species.
Elephant shrews have some spunk to them. They’re territorial and will often use aggression to evict intruders.
The margay is a small wild cat belonging to the genus Leopardus. They have striking patterns with leopard-like spots covering their body. Prominent black stripes are located on the forehead that meet with the inner eyes. Smaller stripes located on the cheeks.
Margays are native to subtropical and tropical forests of Central and South America. Long ago, individuals were reported in Texas but they’re likely no longer present in the southern US.
Margays were last assessed by the IUCN in 2014 and classified as near threatened. Deforestation is one of the biggest threats to the margay population.
Margays are expert climbs with great mobility and ankle flexibility. However, they’re highly terrestrial, as they do most of their hunting on the forest floor.
6. Leaf Sheep Sea Slug
The leaf sheep sea slug is nothing like the common garden slugs you may see around your home.
As their name suggests, these slugs are a vibrant green color covered in leaf-like anatomical structures called cerata. They’re found near coral reefs in Southeast Asia and Japan. Their main source of food comes from avrainvillea algae.
Leaf sheep sea slugs have the special ability to photosynthesize. They feed on the chloroplasts of the algae, which is stored in the slug’s cerata.
Hedgehogs are small mammals in the family Erinaceidae. These little critters are fairly common pets.
The hedgehog has thousands of small quills covering the back, which can make handling difficult if they’re uncomfy.
In the wild, hedgehogs are native to multiple regions in Africa. Other species are native to parts of Europe and Asia. They inhabit a wide range of habitats, from savannas to forests. Hedgehogs eat various types of insects and invertebrates.
8. Green Spotted Puffer
Green spotted puffer live in a variety of shallow water areas and in the seas of Southeast Asia. Green spotted puffers are sometimes kept as pets and in public aquariums.
They eat other fishes, mollusks and crustaceans in the wild. In captivity, they may be fed chopped krill or prawns, brine shrimp, and kelp.
These little tropical fish are named for their light green to yellow color and black spots. Their body is covered in small spikes, which become more visible when they puff up. Green spotted puffers have sharp teeth, which allow them to rip apart vascular plants they consume.
The green spotted pufferfish is not threatened, but populations can be disrupted by capture in the wild to be sold in the pet or commercial aquarium trade.
9. Palmetto Gecko
Palmetto geckos belong to the largest gecko family Gekkonidae. They’re in the genus Pachydactylus, which includes insect-eating geckos native to Africa. Palmetto geckos are also called Namib sand geckos or web-footed geckos.
The largest concentration of palmetto geckos is in Namibia. They can also be found in other areas south of the Sahara Desert. They spend most of their time in burrows during the day to stay out of the hot desert heat.
At night, they emerge from their burrows to feed on insects and spiders. Hunting at night also limits their competition for food amongst other lizards.
The skin of a palmetto gecko is translucent, so their spine and other internal structures are visible.
10. Sugar Glider
The sugar glider is an arboreal possum belonging to the genus Petaurus. Although they’re in the pet trade, they’re not an ideal pet.
Sugar gliders aren’t domesticated animals and they have special nutritional needs that can’t be fully met in a captive environment. They’re considered an exotic animal and it’s illegal to own these creatures in some states.
Sugar gliders are native to Australia and New Guinea. They live in forested habitats, typically in areas with eucalyptus and acacia plants. These trees provide them with their preferred diet of sweet sap and nectar, hence their name. They also eat insects in the summer.
Sugar gliders are nocturnal. During the winter, they may go into torpor for most of the day. Torpor is a dormant state that allows animals to conserve energy.
Chinchillas belong to the order Rodentia and the close-knit family Chinchillidae. Close relatives include fossil relatives and rare viscacha rodents.
You may see chinchillas in pet stores, but they’re high-maintenance pets. They need to live in specific conditions. They can become easily stressed out and require a temperature window of 60-70° F.
If they’re kept in improper temperatures and humidity levels, it can negatively impact their health.
There are two chinchilla species recognized, including long-tailed chinchillas and short-tailed chinchillas.
These soft and fluffy rodents are native to South America. They live in the Andes Mountains. Long-tailed chinchillas are exclusive to the Andes in northern Chile.
The short-tailed species can be found in northern Chile, southern Peru, Bolivia, and western Argentina.
Both species of chinchilla are endangered. There were 5,350 mature long-tailed chinchillas recorded by the IUCN in 2015. Population numbers for the short-tailed chinchilla are unknown. Chinchillas are threatened by capture for the pet trade, hunting, and habitat destruction.
12. Pygmy Slow Loris
The pygmy slow loris is a strepsirrhine primate. Slow loris’ have large round eyes and teddy bear-like ears. The pygmy slow loris is named for its small size.
There are at least eight other slow loris species recognized. They can range between 6-10 inches (15-25 cm) long, which is smaller than the average gray squirrel.
The pygmy slow loris is native to Southeast Asia. They live in the mixed deciduous and evergreen forests of Cambodia, Laos, and Vietnam.
Slow loris’ have a special ability to secrete a toxin from their sweat glands to provide protection from predators.
The pygmy slow loris was assessed as endangered in 2015. Main threats include exploitation for the pet trade and traditional medicine practices, and urbanization and deforestation.
13. Flapjack Octopus
When you think of octopuses, the image of a large-headed octopus with long tentacles may come to mind. However, the flapjack octopus doesn’t resemble the common octopus.
These little octopods belong to the family Opisthoteuthidae. This family includes umbrella octopuses, which have skin between their tentacles that make them look kind of like pancakes with heads.
Flapjack octopuses can reach up to 20 inches (50 cm) in length. They live in the deep sea and are found around the world. They love to rest in the mud on the seafloor. Flapjack octopuses feed on a variety of small invertebrates.
There are at least 24 flapjack octopus species recognized in the genus Opisthoteuthis.
14. Emerald Glass Frog
The emerald glass frog is a translucent frog part of the genus Epadarana. Glass frogs in this genus are native to Central and South America.
Emerald glass frogs can be found in the wet tropical vegetation of lowland forests throughout Central America and northern South America. They lay their eggs on leaves overhanging pools of water. When the tadpoles are ready to hatch, they slip off the leaves into the water below.
Glass frogs are known for having translucent skin. You can see their internal organs, including their beating heart! Their translucent skin has a light green hue, which allows them to blend in with their environment.
15. Northern Saw-Whet Owl
The northern saw-whet owl is native to North America. They occur year-round in northeastern states, the southern border of Canada, and parts of some western states.
Some individuals remain in their range year-round. Others will travel south in the fall. Northern saw-whet owls may become more common in the central US during the winter.
These owls live in heavily forested areas, such as coniferous, open pine, and mixed woods. Their diet mainly consists of rodents and large insects.
Male northern saw-whet owls hoot continuously throughout the night during breeding season. Their hoots ward off intruders in their territory and attract females.
16. Tufted Titmouse
The tufted titmouse is a small perching songbird found in the eastern half of the US. They’re closely related to chickadee and tit birds. Tufted titmice are most common in deciduous forests. They can also be found in orchards, suburbs, and mixed forests.
These cute birds sport a pointed mohawk atop their head. They have a black patch of feathers just above the beak, with light gray feathers covering the head and back.
Tufted titmice will visit bird feeders. They may be seen hopping between branches looking for food or swooping down at the ground. They use their tiny beaks to crack open various nuts, such as acorns.
17. Harp Seal
Harp seals belong to the true seal family Phocidae. They have short flippers and can weigh up to 400 pounds (181 kg).
Baby harp seals are born with white to cream-colored fur. Their fur begins to shed about one month after birth. Adults shed in the spring to prepare for warmer temperatures.
Harp seals live in the North Atlantic and Arctic Oceans. Large groups of thousands of individuals may be observed lounging on ice. During the summer, some harp seals migrate farther north to the Arctic.
Harp seals snack on several different types of fishes, such as Arctic cod and capelin. Although harp seal populations are healthy and increasing, they’re threatened by water pollution, hunting, and climate change.
Pangolins are cute scaly mammals that have a similar appearance to anteaters. Their scales are made of keratin and provide a protective barrier around their body. They have the ability to roll into a ball to fend off predators.
There are at least eight pangolin species recognized as of 2023.
Pangolins can be found in Africa and Asia. The Chinese pangolin, Philippine pangolin, and sunda pangolin are critically endangered. Other pangolin species are endangered or vulnerable to endangerment.
Pangolins live in a wide variety of forested and grassland habitats, including forested savannas, swamp forests, lowland forests, and floodplain grasslands.
Tamanduas are cute relatives of the anteater. It belongs to the family Myrmecophagidae. There are only two tamandua species currently recognized, including the southern tamandua and the northern tamandua.
Northern tamanduas are found in most of Central America and parts of South America from northern Venezuela to northern Peru.
The southern tamandua range is exclusive to most regions in South America. Tamanduas live in a variety of habitats, including tropical rainforests, scrub forests, savannas, and mangroves.
Tamanduas feed on various insects, such as ants and termites. They use their long tongues to reach into insect nests.
20. Sunda Colugo
Sunda colugos, also named Sunda flying lemurs, are native to parts of Southeast Asia. They’re an arboreal species with unique color patterns that help them blend in with tree bark.
Sunda flying lemurs can’t actually fly. These critters can glide amongst the treetops thanks to the membrane of skin that gives them a flattened appearance.
Little is known about the home range and communication habits of Sunda flying lemurs. Their nocturnal and highly arboreal lifestyle makes them difficult to observe.
21. Long-Eared Jerboa
The long-eared jerboa is a rodent named for its massive ears.
Long-eared jerboas have lots of interesting features, including short front limbs, long back limbs, large ears, and a long tail. Their ears and back limbs resemble a rabbit or small kangaroo.
Long-eared jerboas occur from southern Mongolia to northwest China. They live in desert habitats. They use their long legs to bounce away from predators. Their ears also come in handy for hearing predators that might be sneaking up on them.
Long-eared jerboas are insectivores. They hold insects with their front limbs to feed. They forage in areas with little to no vegetation to reduce competition with gerbils.
Pikas are rodents native to North America and Asia. There are at least 30 living pika species, most of which are found in Asia. Pikas are mountain-dwellers. The American pika lives high in the Rocky Mountains of the West.
Pikas feed on a variety of vegetation in their alpine ecosystem, such as weeds and wildflowers. Since cold winters can hinder foraging, they spend their summers collecting and storing food.
Their food storing behaviors are very creative. To prevent their food from getting moldy, they dry their grasses and flowers out in the sun before storing it in their den.
23. Red Panda
If you’ve ever been to a zoo, you may have observed a red panda lounging on a branch. These cute and cuddly-looking creatures belong to the family Ailuridae. This family only includes the red panda species and its extinct relatives.
The red panda is an endangered species native to the temperate forests of the Himalayan mountain range. Almost half of the population is concentrated in the Eastern Himalayas.
Red pandas are pretty common in zoos because they do well in captivity. In the wild, they’re threatened by residential and commercial development and other human activities.
They were assessed as vulnerable in 1994 by the IUCN and became endangered in 1996. The IUCN last assessed the red panda population as endangered in 2015.
Chipmunks are common backyard critters in North America. There are at least 25 chipmunk species recognized. All chipmunk species except one, the Siberian chipmunk, are native to North America.
These plump little rodents are often called ground squirrels in some parts of the US. Although closely related, ground squirrels and chipmunks aren’t the same.
Chipmunks feed on a variety of seeds and fungi, so they may visit bird feeders. They help keep trees healthy by spreading mycorrhizal fungi through their feeding habits. They also help with seed dispersal. Other parts of their diet consist of fruits, nuts, bird eggs, and insects.
25. Baby Giraffe
With their sweet eyes and wobbly legs, baby giraffes have to make the cute animals list. Baby giraffes are referred to as calves. Giraffes can grow up to 19 ft (5.8 m) tall, making them the tallest land mammal in the world.
Giraffes are native to the semi-arid savanna and savanna woodlands of sub-Saharan Africa.
Female giraffes have a long gestation period that can last up to 15 months. Baby giraffes are vulnerable to a variety of predators, such as lions, leopards, and crocodiles.
Babies grow super fast. They’re born about 6.5 ft (2 m) tall and may grow as fast as 0.98 in (2.5 cm) per day.
By the time calves reach six months old, they’re able to find food on their own and be independent from their mothers.
26. Arctic Fox
Arctic foxes are canids that belong to the genus Vulpes, which includes true foxes. As their name suggests, arctic foxes live in the Arctic Circle. Some populations may be found below the Arctic Circle in alpine tundra habitats.
These fluffy foxes are found around the world, including North America, Europe, and Asia. Arctic foxes in Alaska prefer to live inland, but will migrate to coastal areas in the late fall. They like to excavate dens in loose, sandy soils.
Arctic foxes molt their fur twice a year to help them keep warm or cool. During the winter, they have densely packed fur on their paws that help keep their feet warm. In the spring, arctic foxes shed their fur to prepare for summer.
27. Pygmy Hippo
The pygmy hippopotamus belongs to the family Hippopotamidae, which also includes the common hippo. Although pygmy hippos look just like their common hippo relatives, they’re a completely different species.
These small hippos are concentrated in the forests of West Africa. Most of the population is found in Liberia. Smaller, fragmented populations occur in Guinea, Sierra Leone, and the Ivory Coast.
According to the IUCN Red List, the pygmy hippopotamus is endangered. There’s an estimated 2,500 mature individuals left in the wild. Population threats largely come from human activities, such as civil unrest and deforestation.
28. Sand Cat
The sand cat is a small wild cat species native to the Sahara Desert and desert environments in western North Africa, the Arabian Peninsula, and Central Asia.
Sand cats are the smallest wild cat species. They’re about the size of a domestic house cat.
Sand cats are nocturnal and spend most of their day resting in burrows they’ve created. This helps them keep cool.
At night, they emerge to prey on various rodents, insects, birds, and snakes. They have a great sense of hearing and smell, which makes them excellent hunters.
Sand cats can go long periods of time without drinking any water. Their diet helps them consume the water they need until they can find drinking water.
29. Rosy Maple Moth
The beautifully-colored rosy maple moth is native to the eastern half of North America. Their preferred habitat includes temperate deciduous forests that include red, sugar, and silver maples. They also like turkey oak and box elder maple trees.
Some rosy maple moths aren’t as colorful as others. They can be white, bright yellow, or pink and yellow. Rosy maple moth caterpillars are called green-striped mapleworms.
Rosy maple moths can live to be 2-9 months old. However, most of their life is spent resting or overwintering in the pupal stage. Like most moths, this species is nocturnal.
30. Polar Bear
Polar bears live around the world in the Arctic Circle. Polar bears are one of the largest bear species. They’re slightly shorter and weigh a little less than kodiak bears, which are the largest bears in the world.
Male polar bears can weigh up to 1,300 pounds (590 kg) and have a standing height of 6-9 ft (2-3 m). Polar bears are great swimmers and they’re considered marine mammals.
Polar bears were classified as vulnerable by the IUCN in 2015. There are approximately 22,000 polar bears still in the wild. However, polar bears face the risk of extinction largely due to climate change. They’re losing their habitat because of warming temperatures and sea ice melting.
The polar bear population living in the Western Hudson Bay area of Canada dropped 27% between 2016 and 2021.
31. Baby Elephants
Elephants are the largest land animals. Baby elephants, called calves, can weigh up to 270 pounds (122 kg) at birth. Elephants are very smart creatures and calves often display curious behaviors. They’re also pretty clumsy!
There are three main elephant species currently recognized. This includes the African savanna and African forest elephant and the Asian forest elephant.
Elephants have extremely long gestation periods. Mothers remain pregnant with their babies for almost two years! Baby elephants are protected and cared for by females in the herd.
Elephants can consume up to 330 pounds (150 kg) of food each day. Baby elephants spend the first six months of their life nursing.
Calves slowly start to explore solid foods around 1-2 years old, but still remain dependent on their mother.
32. Peter’s Dwarf Epauletted Fruit Bat
Depending on your own personal cuteness meter, you may think most bats are cute or you might wonder how they’ve made this list.
The Peter’s dwarf epauletted fruit bat is pretty cute. These small bats only weigh about 22 grams and have a wingspan of 2-4 inches (6.4-10 cm).
Peter’s dwarf epauletted fruit bats are native to western, central, and southwestern Africa. They live in areas with dense vegetation, including savanna woodlands, forests, and bushlands.
These fruit bats spend most of their life resting. They’re most active at dusk. They feed on fruits, nectar, and pollen. Some of their favorite fruit snacks include fig fruits and wild custard apples.
33. Snowy Owl
The snowy owl thrives in the Arctic tundra. Their bright white feathers help them blend in with their snowy habitat. Unlike most owl species, snowy owls aren’t nocturnal. They hunt for food during the day. One of their favorite foods is lemmings.
Males and females can be distinguished by the presence of black to brown specks on their feathers. Males are mostly white, while females are heavily speckled.
Snowy owls stay warm in the Arctic due to their abundance of feathers. It’s one of the heaviest owls due to the weight of their feathers. They also have lots of feathers on their feet.
In North America, snowy owls live in the northernmost part of the continent year-round.
Wallabies belong to the family Macropodidae, which also includes kangaroos, tree kangaroos, wallaroos, quokkas, and other marsupials.
Wallabies are closely related to kangaroos. The biggest difference between the two is size. Wallabies are smaller and more compact than kangaroos. They have smaller hind legs and don’t stand nearly as tall.
There are about 30 species of wallabies currently recognized. Wallabies are native to Australia and Papua New Guinea. Their specific habitat depends on the species. Some species live in rocky habitats, while others live in grassy plains or forests.
Aardvarks resemble anteaters in appearance. However, aardvarks aren’t even in the same family as anteaters. They’re more closely related to elephant shrews, elephants, and hyraxes.
You might be thinking, why is this creature on the cute list? Yes, they’re bizarre-looking, and they’ve even made our top ugly animals list. But aardvarks have this endearing look about them that some might appreciate.
Aardvarks are the only living species in the family Orycteropodidae. They live in a variety of habitats in sub-Saharan Africa, including rainforests, woodlands, and savannas.
These mammals are nocturnal burrowers that love to feed on ants and termites. Aardvarks are most threatened by humans. They’re often vulnerable to hunting or extermination if their range is close to human settlements.
Echidnas are cute, interesting-looking monotremes. They belong to the egg-laying mammal order Monotremata, which also includes the platypus. Echidnas have spiny quills that cover most of their body.
These critters use their long snouts and sticky tongues to slurp up ants, termites, and worms. There are four echidna species recognized.
Echidnas are native to Australia, New Guinea, and Tasmania. They live in forests, highlands, scrubland, and deserts. They prefer areas with loose soil, so they can dig with ease.
37. Little Blue Penguin
The smallest penguin in the world has a name that sounds like it came out of a storybook.
Little blue penguins are also referred to as fairy penguins in Australia. As their name suggests, little blue penguins only grow to be about 15 inches (43 cm) tall.
The feathers on their head, flippers, and black have a dark blue sheen. Their stomachs are white with some yellow coloration at the neck, chest, and feet.
Little blue penguins are native to the northern and southern coasts of North Island, New Zealand. They can also be found on the southeastern coast of South Island and the western and southeastern coasts of the New Zealand and Chatham Islands.
In Australia, little blue penguins are found along the southern coast.
Contrary to popular belief, the majority of penguin species actually don’t live in cold climates. Little blue penguins live near temperate waters. Their diet consists of a variety of fishes, such as anchovies, sprats, sardines, and krill.
38. Sloth Bear
The sloth bear is a long-haired bear species native to grasslands and forests in South Asia, including the Indian subcontinent.
Sloth bears aren’t named as such because they have any relation to sloths, nor do they share similar behaviors. They were named by English botanist and zoologist George Shaw, who named the bears for their claws and teeth. Shaw initially thought the bear might be related to tree sloths.
Sloth bears were assessed as vulnerable by the IUCN in 2016. Their population is decreasing due to human activities, such as urbanization and land clearing.
39. African Wild Dog
The African wild dog is a critically endangered canine species that occurs in fragmented populations throughout central and southern Africa. These pups have a striking fur coat pattern and large, rounded ears.
Two subpopulations of the African wild dog have been assessed by the IUCN, including the North Africa and West Africa populations. Little information is available for the number of individuals in North Africa. In 2012, there were an estimated 70 adults in West Africa.
According to the World Wildlife Fund, there are only about 1,409 individuals left. They’re considered one of the most endangered species in Africa.
The largest concentration of African wild dogs is thought to be in South Africa and southern East Africa. They roam a variety of habitats, including grasslands, deserts, and forests.
40. Spotted Seal
The spotted seal belongs to the earless seal family Phocidae. It’s part of the genus Phoca, which also includes the common seal.
Spotted seals have round bodies that are dark to light gray, which fade to lighter gray to cream on the sides and belly. Spotted seal pups are born with white fur. Some may have a few spots, while others are completely white.
Spotted seals live in the North Pacific and in seas along the east coast of Asia. They spend their winters lounging on ice and move onshore in the warmer months.
There are several predators that prey on spotted seals, such as killer whales, sharks, and walruses. Spotted seals mainly eat fish. Most of their fish diet consists of herring, pollock, cod, and capelin.
Porcupines are rodents separated into two main families, including New World and Old World porcupines. New World porcupines are found in North America. Old World porcupines occur in Europe, Asia, and Africa.
There are some key differences between the two porcupine families. Old World porcupines don’t have barbs on their quills. Their quills occur in clusters, while New World porcupine quills are more spread out.
Porcupines have about 30,000 quills that cover their body for protection. There’s a common misconception that porcupines can shoot out their quills. This isn’t true, but their quills can detach once they get stuck on something.
Porcupines feed on a variety of plant matter. Although they’re cute, they can be pesky backyard visitors. Due to their diet, porcupines can destroy trees and gardens.
The gerenuk is a true antelope species native to East Africa. Gerenuks are closely related and have similar features to gazelles.
Gerenuks thrive in dry brushy habitats with succulent plants. They can be found in the Serengeti plain and deserts in Kenya.
Gerenuks are named for their long necks, as Gerenuk translates to “giraffe-neck” in Somali. Other notable features of this African antelope include their ringed horns and color patterns in the ears and around the eyes.
The gerenuk was last assessed by the IUCN in 2016 as near threatened. They have several predators, including humans, African big cats, hyenas, and cape hunting dogs.
43. Spotted Sandpiper
The spotted sandpiper is native bird in North America. Spotted sandpipers are found near permanent bodies of water, including lake shores, ponds, and seashores.
If you’re a fan of Disney Pixar short films, you may recognize this bird from the short entitled Piper. The short film features a cute baby sandpiper overcoming its fear of water and learning how to search for mussels independently.
Sandpipers feed on a variety of insects, crustaceans, mollusks, and small fishes. Baby sandpipers are capable of flight at around three weeks old.
44. Patagonian Mara
Patagonian maras look like a cross between a hare and a capybara. They do belong to the same family as capybaras. The family also includes guinea pigs and wild cavies (wild guinea pigs).
As their name suggests, Patagonian maras only occur in the region of Patagonia in South America. Their preferred habitat includes arid open grasslands and shrubland steppes.
These rodents can run up to 45 mph (72 kph) to escape predators, such as foxes and pumas.
Human activities pose the biggest threat to Patagonian maras. They’re near threatened and their population was declining in 2016.
45. Prairie Dog
Prairie dogs are a type of ground squirrel that dig complex burrow systems. They’re a keystone species because they provide other animals with shelter and food sources thanks to their burrowing habits.
There are currently five prairie dog species recognized. The black-prairie dog is the most common and widely distributed species.
Prairie dogs are native to North America. They’re found in the Great Plains. The southernmost portion of the range extends down into northern Mexico. Northernmost populations occur in southern Saskatchewan, Canada.
Prairie dogs are known for their tight-knit communities and complex communication system. Their vocal calls can relay a variety of messages.
The ocelot is a beautiful wildcat found in North America and Central and South America. They live in dense tropical rainforests, savannas, and shrublands. They depend on dense vegetation for protection from predators.
Ocelots are most active at dawn and dusk, but also lurk around throughout the night. Their diet mainly consists of rodents. They’ll also feed on birds, reptiles, and small mammals when available.
Ocelots were listed as an endangered species under the Endangered Species Act in 1982. However, the IUCN assessed the species as least concern in 2014. Ocelots are threatened by poaching and other human activities.
47. Silky Anteater
The silky anteater is in the order Pilosa with other anteater species and sloths. They’re the only living species in the family Cyclopedidae.
Silky anteaters look pretty different from giant anteaters. They’re smaller and have a fuzzy coat of cream to tan-colored fur. These anteaters are found in the forests of southern Mexico down to central South America.
Like their sloth relatives, these anteaters don’t move very fast. They’re also primarily arboreal. Silky anteaters feed on hundreds to thousands of ants and termites every day.
48. Mouse Lemur
Mouse lemurs are primates in the family Cheirogaleidae, which also includes dwarf lemurs. These critters have large round eyes and ears.
There are more than 20 mouse lemur species, many of which are endangered or critically endangered. All mouse lemurs are native to the island of Madagascar in Africa. The pygmy mouse lemur is the smallest of the species.
You might be familiar with this species if you’ve ever watched the movie Madagascar, which features Mort the mouse lemur.
Mouse lemurs are primarily arboreal and nocturnal. Their large eyes are sensitive to sunlight, but useful for spotting prey at night.
49. Raccoon Dog
You might guess that a raccoon dog looks like a raccoon mixed with a dog, and they do!
These cute and scruffy canids belong to the genus Nyctereutes. The genus includes two raccoon dog populations: the common raccoon dog and Japanese raccoon dog.
Raccoon dogs live in forests, marshes, and other areas with thick vegetation. They’re found in multiple countries in East and Southeast Asia. They were introduced in several countries in northern and western Europe.
Raccoon dogs may hunt for food during the day and at night. Their vision isn’t the best, so they rely on their strong sense of smell to sniff out food.
50. Japanese Dwarf Flying Squirrel
The Japanese dwarf flying squirrel is so cute, it’s hard to believe it’s not just a fictional cartoon critter.
Japanese dwarf flying squirrels are small nocturnal creatures that live on the islands of Honshu and Kyushu in Japan.
They’re an arboreal species found in evergreen forests. They use their special skin membrane to glide between trees. They eat a variety of nuts, seeds, fruits, and sometimes bark. Their nocturnal lifestyle paired with erratic movements helps keep them safe from predators.
51. Patagonian Opossum
Patagonian opossums are terrestrial creatures found throughout Argentina in South America. They’re the southernmost opossum species. Their range extends all the way down to Argentina’s Santa Cruz province.
The Patagonian opossum looks pretty different from the Virginia opossum in North America. It’s much smaller and has rodent-like features.
Patagonian opossums are able to brave harsh winters. If food is scarce, they’ll go into torpor to conserve energy.
Most opossum species are omnivores. However, Patagonian opossums are primarily carnivorous. They eat a variety of rodents and small birds.
Coatis are New World carnivores native to Central and South America. They have a long ring-patterned tail and elongated snout. They live in various forested habitats and tropical lowlands and grasslands.
There are four groups of coatis that belong to the genuses Nasua and Nasuella. The white-nosed coati is the only species that occurs in the US. Coatis in the genus Nasua are found in Central America. Coatis in the genus Nasuella live in South America.
Coatis are most active during the day. Females occur in groups, while males are mostly solitary. Like many types of monkeys, coatis participate in grooming to develop strong bonds.
Kinkajous are in the same subfamily as coatis. These tropical creatures live in the rainforests of Central and South America.
Kinkajous are most known for their love of nectar and honey. They use their long tongues to reach into beehives to steal honey. Kinkajous also eat various types of fruit.
Despite their sweet diet, kinkajous are weirdly classified as carnivores. Sometimes they’ll feed on insects and invertebrates, but they mostly eat fruits and nectar.
Since kinkajous steal honey from bees, they have a dense fur coat that prevents them from getting stung. They also help flowers through pollination, just like the bees!
Wombats are cute and stubby marsupials found in Australia. Despite very different appearances, wombats are most closely related to koalas. They’re the only living species in the superfamily Vombatidae. All other species in the superfamily are extinct.
There are three main groups of wombats, which include the common, bare-nosed, and hairy-nosed wombats.
As their name suggests, the common wombat is the most abundant and widespread species. They’re found in Tasmania and along the coast of eastern Australia.
The northern hairy-nosed wombat is the most endangered species. They’re classified as critically endangered as of 2015. The population was stable at this time, but only consisted of 80 individuals.
55. Bush Baby
Bush babies are wide-eyed nocturnal primates found in the forests and bushlands of sub-Saharan Africa.
Bush babies have unique characteristics that help them live in their densely vegetated environment.
They have great night vision that allows them to easily spot prey at night. Most of their diet consists of insects, specifically grasshoppers. They’ll also take eggs, fruits, flowers, and small birds.
Bush babies also have great hearing thanks to their large upright ears. They have the ability to fold their ears down when climbing through thorny brush.
There are at least 20 known bush baby species. The lesser bush baby is one of the smallest species, which reaches about 5 inches (13 cm) in length.
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Cute Animals Featured in Movies
There are so many movies that feature cute animals. You might wonder whether these fictional characters are actually animals in real life. Here are some cute animals featured in movies that are inspired by real species!
Baby dory appears in the Finding Nemo sequel, Finding Dory, which was released in 2016. Dory is a blue hippo tang, also called a royal blue tang.
One of Dory’s notable characteristics is her short-term memory loss, which she conquers with her vibrant and endearing personality.
Dory was born at the Jewel of Morro Bay in California, a revelation that’s revealed in a scene of Finding Dory when Dory remembers she has a family.
In real life, blue hippo tangs are native to the western Atlantic Ocean. They live in coral reefs and rocky or grassy inshore areas at a depth of no more than 150 ft (45.7 m).
They can also be found in the Caribbean Sea and Gulf of Mexico. A smaller portion of their range exists in the eastern Atlantic near Ascension Island.
Gidget is a cute white pomeranian dog featured in The Secret Life of Pets and The Secret Life of Pets 2. She’s well-groomed with a small snout, large blue eyes, and small triangular ears.
Gidget has an exuberant personality and is known for being loving and thoughtful toward her furry friends that all live in a New York apartment complex.
The white pomeranian is a descendent of the German spitz. The breed is named after a historical region called Pomerania, which was located in present-day Poland and Germany along the Baltic Sea.
Bambi is a classic American film that was released in 1942. The film was inspired by a 1922 novel entitled Bambi: A Life in the Woods. Bambi is a mule deer in the American film, but a roe deer in the novel.
Roe deer are native to Europe and parts of Asia. They have short antlers spaced closely together and no tail. They’re capable of living in cold environments. Roe deer live in wooded habitats and open farm fields with tree lines.
Mule deer are native to western North America. Their preferred habitat includes arid and rocky environments with diverse plants.
Scrat is a fictional prehistoric creature that’s featured in all of the Ice Age movies. Each movie includes the running joke of Scrat struggling to find a place to store his beloved acorn. Scrat is based on a saber-toothed squirrel which actually doesn’t exist, or so we thought.
In 2011, a fossil was found in Argentina that’s believed to date back to around 94 million years ago. The fossil had similar features to that of a squirrel, but possessed dagger-like teeth.
Despite the largely unknown or non-existence of Scrat’s real-world species, he had to make the list for his cute bulging eyes, furry tail, and frisky personality.
If you’ve ever seen the movie Rio, you might be familiar with Blu with Spix’s macaw. Blu’s owner, Linda, takes him in after he falls out of a pet store truck in the beginning of the movie.
Blu lives most of his life in the protective care of Linda. But an ornithologist named Tulio comes knocking to convince Linda to take Blu to Brazil in an attempt to repopulate the dying species.
In real life, the Spix’s macaw is actually one of the rarest birds in the world. The species once lived in the Caatinga region of Brazil before going extinct in the wild. Efforts have been made to attempt to repopulate the species, just like in the movie.
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Cute Animals FAQ
What is the world’s cutest animal in 2023?
The list of cute animals could go on and on. There are so many unique and adorable-looking species out there in the wild. As far as the world’s cutest animal in 2023, there are several top contenders:
– Japanese dwarf flying squirrel
– Baby harp seal
– Fennec fox
– Red panda
Each of the animals on this list have their own special features that make them so cute that it’s hard to just pick one!
What animal is considered the cuddliest?
Whether you’re a cat or dog person, or both, you might say that your furry friend is the cuddliest.
Some of the animals listed may look cute and cuddly, but they can have some natural aggressive tendencies.
Our domesticated friends are the cuddliest because most love to receive and give cuddles.
What is the most liked animal?
As the saying goes, a dog is man’s best friend. Dogs are the most common pet in terms of how many households have a pet dog.
According to the American Veterinary Medical Association, 38.4% of households owned a dog in 2018. Right behind dogs, there were 25.4% of households with cats.