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

Last updated on March 31st, 2024 at 08:01 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, or tumblebugs are small beetles and range from 5 to 30mm in length. They spend their days scavenging dung and rolling balls that can be as big as an apple! Although there are approximately 75 dung beetle species in North America, only a dozen or so of them are god important dung buriers. Dung beetles might be small, but they are strong creatures. All over the world, there are thousands of species of dung beetles that are between 0.2 inches 0.5cm and 1.2 inches 3cm .

Do you know: Dung beetles can shift balls of dung weighing almost 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 is one of the strongest birds in the world with a weight of fewer than 10 pounds ; these birds are often called the “Africa’s leopard of the sky.” Since they are strong enough to bring down prey that is over six times their weight and have the power to carry it around with them. These beautiful birds hunt animals weighing from rodents to monkeys to small antelopes like bushbuck.

Interesting Fact: A crowned eagle can reach speeds of up to 100 miles 160 kilometers per hour while following prey in the air. Interestingly, it can come to a halt in just 20 feet 6 meters because it uses its wings to crush 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

The honey badger may be tiny and adorable, but it is thug life. Ironically, the adorable name “honey badger” is nothing but a testament to their savage nature, and these creatures are very well-dreaded throughout Africa. Honey badgers are well-known for their extraordinary bravery, and there’s nothing they won’t confront. They are rounded and fearless, and will boldly walk up to a hyena or lion. Unbelievably, honey badgers are immune to snake venom. When bitten, they first faint but promptly wake up and go hunting.

Moreover, the honey badger has a thick coat of loose skin across its throat that protects it from porcupine quills, bee strings, and 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

Known for their fuzziness and grey color, these mammals are among the kingdom’s most ruthless hunters – king cobra’s worst fear. The Indian grey mongoose is among the few creatures that can threaten a king cobra, despite being significantly smaller; it is about 30 inches long – 80 cm. What makes Indian grey mongoose fearsome is its resistance, or rather, over-tolerance of the cobra’s venom. Owing to the mongoose’s speed and direct attack, king cobra may unable to land a potent bite on it. However, the mongoose takes advantage of the snake’s body heat seeking and bites it in the head, eventually killing the snake . * Inder and McElyea*.

Fun fact: Mongoose have a peculiar ability to close their outer ear when hunting on the ground to avoid dirt and water from getting into the ear.

#5: Common Kingsnakes

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

Another aptly named animal, the kingsnake, undoubtedly reigns over the snake hierarchy: kingsnakes have a diet composed of other snakes. And not just any snakes! Rattlesnakes, copperheads, and cottonmouths, whose venom is deadly to many animals, are all on the kingsnake’s diet. Kingsnakes are resistant to snake venom, making them resistant to rattlesnake bites . They can also outdo other constrictors up to 20 percent larger than they are, that is, they are superior at constriction . This is not due to kingsnakes having more muscle but the blood vessels through which the muscle uses power more effectively.

Fun Fact: Kingsnakes spray a musky scent to ward off 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, a relatively small animal, is just under 2 feet long. Despite its size, the marsupial holds the title of the most powerful bite per pound of any mammal on Earth. This is unsurprising since their skulls and jaws are significantly larger and more powerful than those seen in proportion to other carnivores. Tasmanian devils originate from Australia, and the aggressive temper is a common characteristic of the species. They are capable of ripping carrion and hunting tiny birds and mammals using their large mouths and powerful jaws . Muscle occupies a big proportion in their head structure, and their powerful jaw muscles make it easy for them to crush bones and consume their prey.

Fun Facts: Their keen sense of smell can enable them to travel up to 10 miles seeking for carrion to eat.

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

Small, fuzzy mole-like things known as hero shrews – they are utterly harmless and quite endearing little beasts . Sure, they may resemble or even house mice or moles, but there is an important difference. These little critters choose to feast on the insects in your garden instead . However, despite its appearance, the hero shrew boasts an impressive superpower owing to its spine. Unlike its name, hero shrew’s spine is more than just dense; it is bony and has protrusion that perfectly interlock with each other (via compression and expansion of muscles) that, in effect, semi-fuse its spine . This methodical adaptation and a thick spine allow the hero shrew to support the weight of a full-grown man and then some, making them the mightiest tiny beast.

Fun fact: This spine adaptation allows the animal to support so much weight on its back, as an expedition team noted, 72 kg or 159 lb.

#2: Gila Monsters

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

Gila Monster (Heloderma suspectum) – Named after the Gila River in Arizona . The Gila monster is a North American and Mexican orange and black lizard that can grow around 20 inches in size . It may be slow, quiet, and weak, but its bite makes it potent. The Gila monster’s bite is extremely painful when it strikes, and it can even be deadly. It is known for having one of the most painful bites of any vertebrate. The Gila monster has a powerful jaw that can secure a clamp and leave no margin for release once locked in. The Gila monsters have spinning or flipping action, often “death rolls,” similar to a crocodile’s spinning action to aid them produce more hurting venom into the gash. Their venom-laced tongues, which are lined with razor-sharp, intermittent teeth, also twist escape.

Do You Know: A Gila monster can devour one-third of its body mass in a single meal.

#1: Black-Footed Cats

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

Our list of small but strong animals starts with the black-footed cat. Tiny and seemingly the epitome of cute, the black-footed cat is super deceptive. The “vampire cat” – as it’s been named because it can live without water – is no joke. Their hunting success rate is at 60%, a number that’s practically three times greater than the hunting success of the lion. In fact, it’s the most successful hunter in the cat family and one of the most successful hunters in general around the world. They can average around 14 kills in one night, which practically means one kill every 50 minutes or so.

Fun fact: When black-footed cats wait for a rodent to emerge from their burrow or den quietly with its eyes closed, it’s not sleeping. All of their other senses are in high alert, and they’re waiting for the slightest movement or noise of the emerging animal.

Challenges Faced by Strong Small Animals

There are lots of threats for the life of small animals from predators, including big animals, birds of prey and other carnivores. Predation pressure may impact the behavior, distribution, and population dynamics of the different small animal specie complexes, which turn into complex patterns of ecological interactions and adaptation.

In Summation

Thus, strong small animals prove humans wrong with their strength, resilience, and adaptability. From ants to honey badgers, these animals are essential to ecosystems and marvellous in their own right.


1. What is another example of a relatively small but powerful animal?

Among insects, the dung beetle and the rhinoceros beetle are the most powerful insects in the whole world by their body weight. They can raise about 850 times their mass. The third place is occupied by a leafcutter ant.

2. What is a small animal that has quite a decent power?

Here can be named a leafcutter ant. These insects have the ability to lift and carry in their jaws something 50 times heavier than their approximately 500 mg own body. It is as if a person raised a truck with his teeth.

3. Could you say examples of relatively small but mighty animals?

Strong but small animals include different ants, beetles, honey badgers, black-footed cats, and hero shrews species. These animals are strong and flexible, they have excellent physical parameters in different environmental conditions.



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