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26 Examples of Skinny Animals (A to Z List with Pictures)

examples of skinny animals

Examples of skinny animals include alpacas, butterflyfish, cheetahs, chihuahua, and snakes.

Ever wonder why some animals are so skinny? Well, there are many reasons. Some of these include the food they eat, their environment, and even where they live.

Skinny animals are not something you hear about every day, but they exist! Skinny animals are simply animals that have adapted to their environment in order to survive.

If an animal lives in a place where food is scarce, then the chances of surviving will be much higher if it is thin than if it has a more normal body mass.

Examples of Animals Skinny Animals

1. Alpaca

Scientific NameVicugna pacos
Type of AnimalMammal
RangeMarshy mountainous areas 

The alpaca is a domesticated species of South American camelid. It resembles a small llama in appearance and belongs to the Camelidae family along with camels.

Alpacas are typically bred for their fiber which can be made into various items including blankets, sweaters, gloves, or scarfs. The body temperature of an alpaca is much higher than a human, so they are able to stay warm in cold climates.

In the wild, alpacas would live in herds of up to 100 animals. They would travel and graze together during the day, and then bed down together at night. Alpacas have been known to cover their young with their own bodies to protect them from the cold.

2. Brookesia Micra Chameleon

Micra Chameleon
Scientific NameBrookesia micra
Type of AnimalReptile

The Brookesia Micra Chameleon is a tiny species of lizard that can be found in Madagascar. They grow to about an inch and weigh less than a penny.

The reason they are able to survive with such little food intake is that their habitat has very few resources, making it hard for them to get enough calories from the environment around them.

3. Butterflyfish

Scientific NameChaetodontidae
Type of AnimalFish
Rangetropical reefs

Butterflyfish is an example of a skinny animal.

They live in the tropical oceans and reefs that surround many islands, where food can be hard to come by.

Because they live near coral reefs, butterflyfish eat invertebrates such as worms and crustaceans which hide in holes in rocks and crevices.

To survive, these fish have adapted to be thin and have a very small stomach. This means that they can only eat a few bites of food each day, but it is enough to sustain them.

4. Cheetah

Scientific NameAcinonyx jubatus
Type of AnimalMammal

The cheetah is a great example of how an animal can be skinny and still survive. Cheetahs live in very dry places, such as grasslands and savannas, so they do not have to worry about too much food or water being around them.

Their prey also happens to be the fastest land animal on Earth. Because they need to be able to catch their prey and they live in a place where food is limited, cheetahs have adapted thin bodies that make running easier.

5. Chihuahua

Scientific NameCanis familiaris
Type of AnimalMammal

The Chihuahua is a perfect example of an animal that has adapted to its environment. This small dog breed hails from Mexico, where resources are scarce. As a result, this particular type of canine has become very skinny in order to survive.

6. Dwarf Gecko

Dwarf Gecko
Scientific NameSphaerodactylus Ariasae
Type of AnimalReptile
RangeAfrica and Madagascar

The dwarf gecko is a small lizard that lives in the deserts of North Africa and Arabia. This little lizard has adapted to its environment by becoming very thin. A desert is a place where food is scarce, so the dwarf gecko has evolved to be able to survive on very little food.

7. Dwarf Lantern Shark

Scientific NameEtmopterus perryi
Type of AnimalFish
RangeThe Pacific Ocean near the Hawaiian Islands

The Dwarf Lantern Shark is a species of shark that lives in the Atlantic Ocean. It has adapted to live at extreme depths, and it weighs much less than other sharks that live in similar waters.

8. Etruscan Shrew

Scientific NameSuncus etruscus
Type of AnimalMammal
Rangethe Mediterranean lowlands

The Etruscan Shrew is a small mammal that lives in the forests of Europe. It has adapted to its environment by only consuming things like insects, which are plentiful and easy for it to catch. An Etruscan Shrew is a skinny animal that has adapted to its environment in order to survive.

9. Ferrets

A ferret in its nest
Scientific NameMustela putorius furo
Type of AnimalMammal
RangeWestern Asia, and North Africa

The ferret is a prime example of a skinny animal. Ferrets are typically found in North America, Europe, and Asia. These animals have adapted to living in areas where food is scarce

In fact, the average weight of a ferret is only around two pounds. This is much skinnier than most other mammals of similar size.

10. Lizards

Scientific NameLacertilia
Type of AnimalReptile

Lizards are skinny animals that can survive in harsh environments like deserts because they eat less food than normal-sized lizards, allowing them to conserve energy.

11. Mantis

Scientific NameMantodea
Type of AnimalInsect

The mantis uses its skinniness to help it survive. It will sit perfectly still on trees to look like a stick or put its arms out to appear like a skinny leaf. Birds pass by without knowing that a meal was within reach below.

12. Meerkat

Scientific NameSuricata suricatta
Type of AnimalMammal
Rangethe Kalahari Desert in Botswana

The meerkat is a small, skinny mammal that lives in the deserts of Africa. Meerkats have adapted to their environment by becoming very thin and having long legs that allow them to run quickly across the sand.

They also have short fur that helps protect them from the sun and heat. Meerkats eat insects and other small animals, and because food is scarce in the desert, they have to be very efficient at finding and eating food.

13. Mongoose

Scientific NameHerpestidae
Type of AnimalMammal

The mongoose is one of the most famous skinny animals.

Despite their size and reputation, they are very fast creatures who can outrun most predators.

This makes them difficult to catch if you want to eat them.

14. Needlefish

Scientific NameBelonidae
Type of AnimalFish
Rangewestern Atlantic from Maine to Brazil

The needlefish is a perfect example of a skinny animal. This fish can be found in the Pacific and Atlantic oceans, and it has adapted to live in areas where food is scarce.

The needlefish has a long, thin body that helps it swim faster and catch prey easier. This fish also has a very small head, which reduces its weight and allows it to swim more easily.

15. Pike

Scientific NameEsox lucius
Type of AnimalFish
RangeArctic portions of North America, Europe, Asia, and Siberia

Pikes are a type of fish that can be found in both fresh and saltwater. They have an elongated body with a pointed head and sharp teeth.

Pike are predators, meaning they hunt and eat other animals for food. pikes are skinny because they need to be able to move quickly through the water to catch their prey.

16. Polecat

Scientific NameMustela putorius
Type of AnimalMammal
Rangethroughout Wales

Not to be mistaken with the ferret, the polecat is a small, skinny animal that is found in Wales. This animal has adapted to living in areas where food is scarce by having a thin body mass. The polecat can go for long periods of time without eating, which allows it to survive in difficult environments.

17. Pygmy Marmoset

Pygmy Marmoset
Scientific NameCebuella pygmaea
Type of AnimalMammal
RangePeru, Bolivia, Brazil, Ecuador, and Colombia

The pygmy marmoset is a species of monkey that can be found in the rainforests of South America. They are one of the smallest monkeys in the world, with their length only being about 16 centimeters long.

These little guys have evolved to live off very small amounts of food per day because they cannot find enough food throughout their entire day. They eat insects, tree sap, and lizards which can be very hard to find in the rainforest.

Because of this, they have a huge advantage over other species that need more food per day because they will simply not last as long if their entire diet consists only of these things.

18. Royal Antelope

Scientific NameNeotragus pygmaeus
Type of AnimalMammal
Rangewestern African

The Royal Antelope is a strange-looking animal that lives in the desert. To avoid detection by predators, it likes to hide amongst vegetation and blend into its surroundings perfectly.

This means that the best way for the antelope to stay safe is if it has as little mass as possible. With this adaptation, an individual can survive with very few nutrients, which is very important in the desert.

19. Snakes

Ribbon Snake
Scientific NameSerpentes
Type of AnimalReptile

Snakes are one of the most well-known skinny animals and for good reason! Snakes have adapted to a life where food is scarce by becoming thin and flexible. This allows them to move easily through tight spaces in search of prey.

In addition, snakes can go for long periods of time without eating, which means they don’t need to store a lot of food in their bodies.

20. Stick Bug

Stick Bug
Scientific NamePhasmatodea
Type of AnimalInsect
Range The tropics and subtropics

The stick bug has evolved to be as skinny as a stick – literally! They look just like sticks to avoid predators. They will hide in amongst trees and sit perfectly still so birds can’t spot them from above.

21. Stoat

Scientific NameMustela erminea
Type of AnimalMammal
RangeAlaska and Canada

The Stoat l is a small, long and skinny animal. They have very little in the way of fat reserves. In their natural environment they rely on being able to find food every few hours, so having extra weight slows them down and makes it more difficult for them to catch prey.

22. Thorius Arboreus

Giant Salamander
(generic image)
Scientific NameThorius Arboreus
Type of AnimalReptile

Thorius Arboreus, a type of salamander native to Mexico, is one skinny animal that has evolved over time. The Thorius Arboreus lives in a small pool or water-filled hole.

This body shape allows it to conserve energy by reducing its surface area. The salamander also has a low metabolism, which allows it to survive with less food. This is great for the Thorius Arboreus because of its limited habitat!

23. Ticks

Scientific NameIxodida
Type of AnimalInsect

These small parasitic arachnids are known for causing Lyme Disease, a serious illness that can affect people.

Ticks live in grasslands and forests where they feed on the blood of their hosts (e.g., birds, deer). They need to consume more than three times their weight in blood! Because ticks have such an enormous appetite, they have evolved to be very thin.

This helps them avoid being detected by their prey and also makes it easier for them to move around in search of food.

24. Threadsnake

Scientific NameLeptotyphlops carlae
Type of AnimalReptile

The Barbados thread snake is a perfect example of a skinny animal. This snake can be found on the island of Barbados and it has adapted to its environment by becoming very thin.

The Barbados thread snake lives in an area where food is scarce, so it has evolved to be very thin in order to survive. This snake is able to move around quickly and catch its prey, which is mainly insects.

25. Vechur Cow

Scientific NameBos taurus indicus
Type of AnimalMammal
RangeKottayam district

The Vechur cow is a breed of cattle that is found in India. This particular breed of cow is very small and thin, and it has adapted to the environment in which it lives.

The Vechur cow is able to survive because there are not many predators in its habitat, and the food sources are plentiful.

In fact, the Vechur cow is so small that it can be picked up by its owner without much effort or strain.

26. Weasels

Scientific NameMustela
Type of AnimalMammal

Weasels are small animals that have adapted to being predators. They have sharp teeth, claws, and powerful legs in order to catch prey. Their bodies are long so they can easily move around the ground at high speeds.

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