Top 10 Small But Strong Animals In 2024 (With Pictures)

Last updated on February 4th, 2024 at 06:48 pm

Small but strong animals are nature’s hidden powerhouses, challenging our assumptions about size and strength. Examples of small but strong animals include honey badgers, ants, Indian grey mongooses, and black-footed cats.

This distinction ensures that insects, despite their small size, are not disproportionately represented as some of the most powerful animals on the planet.

Key Point:

  • Dung beetles, despite their small size, can pull 1100 times their weight and lift objects 100 times heavier.
  • The crowned eagle, despite its 10-pound weight, ranks among the world’s strongest birds.
  • Weaver ants can hold up to 100 times their body weight while hanging upside down.
  • The honey badger’s skin is so thick that it can withstand bee stings, porcupine quills, and even dog bites.
  • Indian Grey Mongooses engage in battle with snakes for about an hour, waiting until the snake tires of striking. Then, the mongoose leaps forward and attempts its first bite.

In this article, we are going to talk about the ten small but mighty animals

10 Small But Strongest Animals

#10: Dung Beetles

Small But Strong Animals
Image Source Flickr by Ahmad Hassan
  • Scientific Name: Scarabaeidae
  • Type of Animal: Insect

Dung beetles, often called tumblebugs, are small beetles ranging from 5 to 30mm in length. They spend their days collecting dung and forming balls that can be as large as an apple!

While about 75 dung beetle species are found in North America, only around a dozen of them are significant dung buriers.

Despite their small size, dung beetles are exceptionally strong creatures. There are thousands of species of dung beetles worldwide, ranging from 0.2 inches (0.5cm) to 1.2 inches (3cm) in size, all possessing remarkable strength.

Do you know: Dung beetles have the remarkable ability to move dung balls weighing up to 50 times their weight.

#9: Crowned Eagles

Small But Strong Animals
Image Source Flickr by Ahmad Hassan
  • Scientific Name: Stephanoaetus coronatus
  • Type of Animal: Bird

The crowned eagle, weighing less than 10 pounds (4.5kg), is widely regarded as the strongest bird globally, earning it the nickname “Africa’s leopard of the sky.” These formidable predators can take down prey over six times their weight and have the strength to lift and carry them as well.

These magnificent birds prey on a variety of animals, from rodents to monkeys, and even small antelope like bushbuck.

Do you know: A crowned eagle can reach speeds of up to 100 miles (160 kilometers) per hour while chasing prey in the air. Remarkably, it can come to a stop within just 20 feet (6 meters) by using its powerful wings to push against the air currents.

Read Also: Animals with Long Faces

#8: Ants

Small But Strong Animals
Image Source Flickr by Ahmad Hassan
  • Scientific Name: Formicidae
  • Type of Animal: Insect

Despite their tiny size, ants possess incredible strength, able to lift objects to 100 times heavier than themselves.

Odontomachus ants, with powerful jaw muscles, can close them at 143 miles per hour, exerting forces 500 times their body mass. Their super-strength stems from their small bodies, boasting a significant muscle-to-body ratio, and intricate neck joints with large surface areas, enabling them to shoulder massive loads.

Do you know: According to Vulcan Termite, an ant colony demonstrates impressive strength by moving a staggering 50 tons of soil within a single year!

#7: Honey Badgers

Small But Strong Animals
Image Source Flickr by Ahmad Hassan
  • Scientific Name: Mellivora capensis
  • Type of Animal: Mammal

Honey badgers may appear small and cute, but they have a serious attitude. Contrary to their adorable name, these animals are known for their ferocity, making them feared throughout Africa.

Renowned for their fearlessness, honey badgers will boldly confront predators like hyenas and lions without hesitation.

Interestingly, honey badgers have some immunity to snake venom. While they may initially pass out if bitten, they quickly recover and resume hunting.

Do You Know: The honey badger is equipped with a layer of thick, loose skin around its neck, serving as a shield against porcupine quills, bee stings, and even dog bites.

READ ALSO: 07 Amazing Animals With Human Teeth

#6: Indian Grey Mongoose

Small But Strong Animals
Image Source Flickr by Ahmad Hassan
  • Scientific Name: Herpestes edwardsii
  • Type of Animal: Mammal

Indian Grey Mongoose: Small But Strong Animals

While these fuzzy grey mammals may appear cute, they are ferocious predators, striking fear into one of the world’s deadliest animals: the king cobra. The Indian grey mongoose is one of the few animals that prey on the king cobra, despite being much smaller in size, measuring only about 30 inches (80cm) long.

What makes the Indian grey mongoose formidable is its immunity, or rather, high tolerance to the king cobra’s venom.

Due to its agility, the mongoose can often outmaneuver the snake, preventing it from landing a fatal strike. Instead, the mongoose swiftly retaliates by biting the snake on the head, ultimately killing it.

Do You Know: Mongooses have a unique ability to close their outer ears while hunting in soil, preventing dirt and water from entering.

#5: Common Kingsnakes

Image Source Flickr by Ahmad Hassan
  • Scientific Name: Lampropeltis getula
  • Type of Animal: Reptile

Another aptly named animal, the kingsnake, unquestionably sits atop the snake hierarchy: kingsnakes have a diet consisting of other snakes. And not just any other snakes! Rattlesnakes, copperheads, and cottonmouths, whose venom can be lethal to many animals, are all on the menu for these ruthless constrictors. This is because kingsnakes are immune to snake venom, rendering even rattlesnakes harmless.

They can also overpower other constrictors up to 20 percent larger than themselves, essentially out-constricting them. This is not due to kingsnakes having more muscle than other snakes, but rather because they use their muscles more efficiently.

Do You Know: Kingsnakes release a musky odor to deter predators.

READ ALSO: Animals With Big Foreheads

#4: Tasmanian Devils

Image Source Flickr by Ahmad Hassan
  • Scientific Name: Sarcophilus harrisii
  • Type of Animal: Mammal

The Tasmanian devil, known as a small but mighty animal, measures around 2 feet in length. Despite its relatively small size, this marsupial holds the title for the most powerful bite, pound for pound, of any living mammal on Earth. This impressive feat is attributed to its disproportionately large heads and jaws.

Originating from Australia, Tasmanian devils are known for their fierce temperament. Equipped with large mouths and robust jaws, they are adept at tearing into carrion and hunting small birds and mammals. Their powerful jaw muscles, which dominate much of their head structure, enable them to crush bones with ease, allowing them to consume their prey efficiently.

Do You Know: They possess a powerful sense of smell enabling them to travel up to 10 miles in search of carrion to consume.

READ ALSO: 9 Dirtiest Animals In The World

#3: Hero Shrews

Image Source Flickr by Ahmad Hassan
  • Scientific Name: Scutisorex somereni
  • Type of Animal: Mammal

Hero shrews are small, fuzzy, mole-like creatures, utterly harmless and distinctly adorable.

They may resemble house mice or moles, but these little creatures have a preference for dining on insects in your yard. While they may not appear mighty, they possess a remarkable superpower: their spines are incredibly strong!

The hero shrew’s spine is not only incredibly dense but also equipped with bony protrusions that interlock when the shrew contracts its muscles, temporarily fusing its spine. This unique spine allows the hero shrew to support the weight of a grown man, making these tiny creatures mighty.

Do You Know: This unique adaptation enables the animal to support a significant amount of weight on its back — 72 kg (159 lb) according to an expedition team.

#2: Gila Monsters

Small But Strong Animals
Image Source Flickr by Ahmad Hassan
  • Scientific Name: Heloderma suspectum
  • Type of Animal: Reptile

The Gila monster is named after the Gila River in Arizona.

It’s an orange and black lizard found in North America and Mexico, measuring around 20 inches (55cm) long. Despite its slow-moving and shy nature, what makes it mighty is its bite.

Its bite is excruciatingly painful, sometimes even fatal, earning it a reputation for delivering one of the most agonizing bites among vertebrates.

Adding to its formidable bite is its strong jaw, capable of locking down tightly and almost impossible to open once clamped. Some Gila monsters exhibit a spinning or flipping behavior, akin to a crocodile’s “death roll,” believed to help inject more venom into the wound. Their razor-sharp, backward-curved teeth further hinder escape.

Do You Know: The Gila monster can consume up to a third of its body weight in a single meal.

#1: Black-Footed Cats

Image Source Flickr by Ahmad Hassan
  • Scientific Name: Felis nigripes
  • Type of Animal: Mammal

The black-footed cat is the first member of our list of small but strong animals. Tiny, beautiful, and adorable, the black-footed cat is as deceptive as they come. The Black-footed cat has a reputation as a “vampire cat,” based on its ability to live without water. These pint-sized felines are insanely efficient hunters, with a success rate of 60%, over three times that of a lion. This makes them the most successful hunters of all the cat family and one of the most efficient hunters in the world.

The black-footed cat can average around 14 kills in one night, or one kill every 50 minutes or so.

Do You Know: When Black-footed cats wait quietly with their eyes closed outside rodent burrows and dens, they are not sleeping. All their senses are alert, and they are just waiting for the slightest movement or sound of the emerging animal.

Challenges Faced by Strong Small Animals

Despite their strength, small animals face numerous threats from predators, including larger animals, birds of prey, and other carnivores. Predation pressure can influence the behavior, distribution, and population dynamics of small animal species, leading to complex ecological interactions and adaptations.

In Summation

In conclusion, strong small animals defy expectations with their remarkable strength, resilience, and adaptability. From industrious ants to tenacious honey badgers, these creatures play essential roles in ecosystems and inspire awe with their abilities.


1. What is a tiny but powerful animal?

Among insects, the dung beetle and the rhinoceros beetle stand out as the strongest insects on the planet, given their body weight! They can lift 850 times their weight! This is followed by the leafcutter ant.

2. What is a strong small animal?

Tiny leafcutter ants can lift and carry in their jaws something 50 times their body weight of about 500mg. That’s the same as a human lifting a truck with its teeth.

3. What small animal is fearless?

Honey Badger: Despite its small size, the honey badger is known for its aggressive nature and fearlessness. It has a reputation for being able to confront and take on much larger animals, including predators like lions.

4. What is the fastest small animal?

The world record holder for speed, recorded so far, is the Southern California mite. A very, very small arachnid that can run about 353 body lengths per second. And just to put that into terms that we might understand, if a human ran 353 body lengths per second, it’d be running about 1,300 miles per hour.

5. Can you give examples of small but strong animals?

Certainly! Examples of small but strong animals include ants, beetles, honey badgers, and certain species of Black-Footed Cats and Hero Shrews. These creatures possess remarkable strength and resilience despite their small size, demonstrating impressive physical capabilities in various environments.



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