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14 Examples of Skinny Animals (Pictures)

Mother nature has an amazing array of creatures of all shapes, sizes, colors, and more. Each has its own unique adaptations that have allowed it to survive in its particular environment. Some of these creatures are incredibly skinny, and while they might not be the most eye-catching animals, they still have an important place in the natural order of things.

Today we’re going to take a look at some of these amazing animals that are both thin and beautiful!

14 Skinny Animals

From diminutive reptiles to feathery birds, these skinny animals demonstrate the diverse range of sizes and shapes in nature. Let’s take a look at 14 of the most fascinatingly thin creatures from around the world.

1. Carolina mantis

Carolina mantis on rusty metal
Carolina mantis on rusty metal | image by Andy Reago & Chrissy McClarren via Flickr | CC BY 2.0
  • Scientific name: Stagmomantis carolina
  • Weight: 0.14-0.18 oz
  • Animal type: Insect

The Carolina Mantis has an unmistakable mantis-like shape with a narrow thorax and thicker abdomen, bulbous eyes on the sides of its head, and short antennae for detecting environmental information. Its front pair of legs are substantially thicker than the rear pairs, giving this mantis an iconic prayerful pose when resting. Interestingly enough, even though it’s small and skinny, the Carolina Mantis can fly.

Females have been known to be larger than males and even eat them while mating! Their diet mainly consists of small insects they catch with their powerful front legs.

2. Great Egret

Great egret in the water
A great egret in the water | image by I Am birdsaspoetry.com via Flickr | CC BY 2.0
  • Scientific name: Ardea alba
  • Weight: 700 to 1,500 g (1.5 to 3.3 lb)
  • Animal type: Bird

Great Egrets are among the most common species of wading birds found across North, Central, and South America. They have long, skinny necks with large yellow bills and sharp black eyes.

Their white feathers are long and slender, adding to their overall long and thin look. They spend most of their time wading in shallow water, searching for fish, frogs, crustaceans, insects, snakes, and other small prey.

Interestingly enough, it is believed that the species has adapted over time to help hunt in low-light conditions — its black eyes are more sensitive to light, allowing it to see better in the dark.

3. Stoat

Stoat in grassland
Stoat in grassland | Image by Dr. Georg Wietschorke from Pixabay
  • Scientific name: Mustela erminea
  • Weight: Males typically weigh 9.1 oz (258 g), while females typically weigh 6.3 oz (180 g).
  • Animal type: Mammal

The stoat is a small, slender mammal found in many parts of the world, including Europe and North America. They have long bodies with short legs and elongated necks, and their fur changes color seasonally — it’s white in winter. In summer, its fur is usually a light brown color with white underparts, and the tip of its tail is black.

Stoats are carnivores and primarily feed on rodents, birds, insects, and even fish. They are also incredibly fast runners and can reach speeds of up to 18 mph. The stoat is an excellent climber and swimmer, making it even more difficult to catch.

4. Needlefish

Atlantic needlefish in lagoon
Atlantic needlefish in lagoon
  • Scientific name: Strongylura marina
  • Animal type: Fish

The needlefish is a slender, elongated fish found near coastal areas and estuaries in many parts of the world. It has an aerodynamic body and grows to be up to 37.4 inches long with a forked tail.

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Its bright silvery color helps it blend in with the water and its long snout, which is lined with sharp teeth, helps it catch prey like small crustaceans and other fish. It is an excellent swimmer and can reach speeds of up to 37 mph.

The needlefish has earned a reputation as a dangerous species due to its propensity to leap out of the water and strike unsuspecting victims with its sharp snout.

5. Common house gecko

House Gecko
House Gecko
  • Scientific name: Hemidactylus frenatus
  • Weight: 1.6 to 2.5 oz (0.1 to 0.16 lb).
  • Animal type: Reptile

These nocturnal lizards are incredibly skinny animals with slender bodies and short limbs. Common house geckos are often seen living on walls and ceilings in tropical regions, as they are well-adapted to urban environments. Their skin is so thin that it can be almost transparent at times, making its brownish-gray coloring stand out even more.

A common house gecko’s head is triangular in shape, with big, golden eyes and a short but powerful tail. The house gecko usually grows to around five inches in length, and its diet consists mostly of insects.

6. Etruscan Shrew

Etruscan pygmy shrew
Etruscan pygmy shrew | image by Mick Sway via Flickr | CC BY-ND 2.0
  • Scientific name: Suncus etruscus
  • Weight: 0.063 oz (1.8 g)
  • Animal type: Mammal

The Etruscan shrew is one of the smallest mammals in the world and is closely related to the common shrew. It has a long, pointed snout, small eyes, and a short tail. Its fur is usually brown or gray-brown in color, with a lighter underside.

These animals live mainly in woods and scrublands throughout Europe and western Asia. They are active both day and night, searching for insects under logs and stones, in leaf litter, and even in underground burrows.

The Etruscan shrew has a voracious appetite and can consume up to two times its own body weight in a single day. It has an incredibly fast metabolism and must constantly eat to meet its energy needs.

7. Meerkat

Three brown meerkats
Three brown meerkats
  • Scientific name: Suricata suricatta
  • Weight: 0.7 to 1 kg (1.5 to 2.2 lb)
  • Animal type: Mammal

Native to South Africa, the meerkat is a small mammal with an unmistakable long and slender appearance. It has an elongated body with a pointed snout and large eyes set far apart on its head. Its fur is usually yellowish-gray with dark stripes running down the back and sides.

Meerkats live in burrows and are incredibly social animals, often forming large colonies made up of family groups. They feed on small insects and other invertebrates like spiders, worms, and scorpions. These animals are incredibly inquisitive — they have been known to stand up on their hind legs to get a better view of their surroundings.

8. Dragonfly

A dragonfly
A dragonfly | Image by liggraphy from Pixabay
  • Scientific name: Anisoptera
  • Weight: approximately 0.035 oz (about 1g)
  • Animal type: Insect

These fascinating creatures have thin, delicate wings with intricate veins running through them, and they can be found near water sources such as lakes, ponds, and streams. They are small and slender, often measuring only about 2-3 inches long. Their heads are relatively large compared to their bodies, and they have large, compound eyes that give them extremely good vision. 

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Dragonflies come in an array of stunning colors, from vibrant blues and greens to more subtle hues of browns and yellows. They are agile flyers and can even hover in one spot for a brief period of time. Dragonflies are also almost exclusively carnivorous, preying on smaller insects like mosquitoes and midges.

9. Greyhound

Greyhound in the park
Greyhound in the park
  • Scientific name: Canis lupus familiaris
  • Weight: Males typically weigh 27 to 40 kg (60 to 88 lb), while females are usually 25 to 34 kg (55 to 75 lb).
  • Animal type: Mammal

Greyhounds are a breed of sighthound, meaning they use their eyesight rather than their sense of smell to hunt. Its body features a long, slender neck and deep chest that tapers to a narrow waist and hips. This breed has long legs and lean musculature that gives it a skinny appearance.

Despite its slender frame, the greyhound is surprisingly fast and can reach impressive speeds of up to 45 mph. Greyhounds come in a variety of colors, including brindle, fawn, black, red, or a combination of these hues with white. They are gentle, intelligent creatures and make excellent companions.

10. Red Slender Loris

Red slender loris
Red slender loris | image by Alex Pyron via Wikimedia Commons | CC BY-SA 3.0
  • Scientific name: Loris tardigradus
  • Weight: 3 to 13 oz (0.1875 to 0.8125 lb)
  • Animal type: Mammal

The red slender loris is a small, nocturnal primate that gets its name from its slender body shape. Its long hind limbs and short forelimbs make it look even skinnier.

The fur on their body is usually reddish-brown but can be a darker shade in some areas. These curious creatures have no tails and possess forward-facing eyes, which are specially adapted for seeing in the dark. Its diet consists mainly of insects and small vertebrates.

They are native to the forests of India and Sri Lanka, and unlike other primates, they do not live in groups but rather solitary lives. The red slender loris is listed as endangered by IUCN due to habitat loss, fragmentation, and poaching.

11. Spotted Garden Eel

Spotted garden eel
Spotted garden eel
  • Scientific name: Heteroconger hassi
  • Weight: 4 to 8 oz (0.25 to 0.5 lb)
  • Animal type: Fish

The spotted garden eel is a species of fish found in the Indo-Pacific region. It is easily recognizable by its long and slender body, which can grow up to 16 inches.

The body is covered in small white spots, which provide camouflage from predators. This species of eel lives and feeds in shallow waters, often living in colonies of up to hundreds of individuals.

They bury themselves partially or completely in the sand, leaving only their heads exposed as they wait for food to come by. The spotted garden eel’s diet consists mainly of plankton, small crustaceans, and other bits of organic matter.

12. Weasel

Weasel hiding on wood
A weasel hiding on wood | Image by Trond Giæver Myhre from Pixabay
  • Scientific name: Mustelidae
  • Weight: 3 to 9 ounces (85 to 267 g)
  • Animal type: Mammal

Weasels are small mammals belonging to the family Mustelidae, which includes otters, ferrets, and badgers. They have long slender bodies with short legs and pointed faces. Most species of weasel have a distinctive coat of brown fur, but some may have white coats during the winter months.

These skinny mammals are active hunters and feed mainly on small mammals such as voles, mice, and rabbits. They are highly adaptable animals and can be found in almost any habitat, from forests to grasslands to urban areas.

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Weasels are notorious for their boldness and willingness to attack animals much larger than themselves. They are also known for their agility and can even hunt in tight spaces.

13. Alpaca

Alpaca | Image by Pexels from Pixabay
  • Scientific name: Vicugna pacos
  • Weight: 100 to 185 lbs
  • Animal type: Mammal

Alpacas are skinny animals with a slender bodies, long necks, and long legs. They have a short tail, small head, and large pointed ears. These domesticated animals were first bred by the indigenous people of the Andes Mountains several thousand years ago.

Alpacas are herbivores, feeding on grasses and hay. They’re known for their soft, warm wool, which is highly valued for its quality and is used to make clothing and textiles. A unique fact about alpacas is that they’re able to thrive in high altitudes and harsh environments due to their skinny build and efficient use of food and water.

14. Stick bug

Walking stick bug
Walking stick bug
  • Scientific name: Phasmatodea
  • Weight: 0.04 to 0.14 oz  
  • Animal type: Insect

Stick bugs, also known as walking sticks, are skinny insects with long, slender body that resembles a twig or stick. They range in size from 0.5 inches to over 20 inches, depending on the species. Stick bugs are found all over the world and are known for their incredible camouflage abilities. They’re herbivores and feed on leaves and other plant matter.

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