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10 Animals With Small Ears

Grey mongoose.

Are you curious about animals with small ears? While some animals have large, floppy ears that are a defining feature, others have small, almost unnoticeable ears. These animals have adapted to their environment and lifestyle, and their small ears serve a specific purpose.

For example, beavers are semi-aquatic animals that spend much time in the water. Their small ears help them to swim more efficiently by reducing drag. The same can be said for otters, which have small ears that are covered with fur to keep them warm in cold water.


Ground cuscus.
Drcwp1, Public domain, via Wikimedia Commons

If you are looking for an animal with small ears, the cuscus is a marsupial that fits the bill. These creatures have ears that are nearly hidden in their thick fur.

Cuscuses are arboreal creatures, and they move slowly through the trees. They have a prehensile tail that helps them climb and hold onto branches. They are nocturnal and spend most of their time sleeping during the day.

In the wild, Cuscuses eat mostly leaves, flowers, and fruits. Their special digestive system allows them to break down tough plant material.



These tiny primates are only about 9-16 cm long and have ears that are relatively small compared to their head size.

Tarsiers are found only on various islands of Southeast Asia, including the Philippines. They are intermediate in form between lemurs and monkeys, with large eyes and long tails that help them balance while leaping through the trees.

One interesting fact about tarsiers is that they are the only venomous primate. They have a gland in their arm that secretes a particular toxin, which they use to defend themselves against predators. However, this venom is not harmful to humans.

Tarsiers are primarily insectivores, feeding on various insects such as grasshoppers, crickets, and beetles. They are active at night and rest during the day, clinging vertically to tree branches.

Despite their small size, tarsiers have a loud and distinctive vocalization. They use a combination of high-pitched calls and ultrasound to communicate with each other and locate prey.

Rock Hyrax

Rock hyrax.

These small mammals are found in Africa and the Middle East and are known for their unique appearance and behaviours.

Rock hyraxes have short, sturdy legs, brownish-grey fur, and creamy-coloured underside. They have a short snout, cleft upper lip, and long, black whiskers. One of the most distinctive features of the rock hyrax is its small ears, which are barely visible on its head.

Despite their small size, rock hyraxes are fascinating animals. They are social creatures and live in groups of up to 80 individuals. They communicate with each other using a variety of vocalizations, including grunts, whistles, and screams.

They are herbivores and eat various plants, including leaves, fruits, and bark. However, they also have a unique digestive system that allows them to eat toxic plants that other animals cannot. They have a specialized stomach that neutralizes the toxins and allows them to extract plant nutrients.



Capybaras are the largest rodents in the world, native to South America. They are semi-aquatic, meaning they spend much time in or near water. Their large, webbed feet help them swim, and their small ears are less likely to get in the way while paddling through the water.

Despite their size, capybaras are known for their gentle and friendly nature. They are social animals that live in groups and are often seen lounging in the sun or grazing on the grass near bodies of water.
One interesting fact about capybaras is that they have a unique digestive system that allows them to break down tough plant fibres.

They have a large cecum, which is a pouch-like structure in their digestive tract that contains bacteria that help break down cellulose. This allows capybaras to extract more nutrients from their food and survive in their natural habitats.

Pygmy Marmoset

Pygmy marmoset.

These tiny creatures are native to the rainforests of South America and are known for being the smallest monkeys in the world.

Pygmy marmosets have a body length of just 12 to 15 centimetres and weigh only 100 to 125 grams. Their ears are small and rounded, which helps them to blend in with the foliage of the forest canopy where they live.

Despite their small size, pygmy marmosets are incredibly active and social animals. They live in family groups of up to 15 individuals and communicate with each other using a wide range of vocalizations.

One of the most interesting things about pygmy marmosets is their diet. They feed primarily on the sap of trees, using their sharp teeth to gnaw through the bark and access the sweet, sticky liquid inside. They also eat insects and other small animals when they can find them.



These semi-aquatic creatures are known for their impressive building skills, constructing lodges and dams in rivers and streams across North America.

Beavers have stocky bodies covered in a yellow-brown to almost black coat and a broad, flat, scaly tail. Their large, orange incisors grow continuously throughout their lifetime, allowing them to chew through wood and other tough materials.

Despite their small ears, beavers have an excellent ability to detect sounds from far away. When they’re in the water, their ears lie flat against the side of their head, helping them to streamline their body and swim more efficiently.

Beavers are social animals that live in large family groups called colonies. These families are comprised of an adult male and female in a monogamous pair, along with their offspring called kits. Beaver pairs mate for life and work together to build their homes and raise their young.

In terms of diet, beavers are herbivores, with a usual diet consisting of water plants, bark, woods, and other aquatic vegetation. They use their strong teeth to gnaw down trees and branches, which they then use to construct their lodges and dams.

River Otter

River otter.

One of the most distinctive features of the River Otter is its long, streamlined body. These animals are built for swimming and have sleek, muscular body that helps them move quickly through the water. They also have fully webbed feet and non-retractable claws, which help them grip slippery surfaces and propel themselves through the water.

River Otters are also known for their playful nature. They love to slide down muddy banks, swim around in circles, and always look for new ways to have fun.

Despite their playful nature, River Otters are also skilled hunters. They have sharp teeth and powerful jaws, which they use to catch fish, crustaceans, and other small aquatic animals. They can also hold their breath for up to 8 minutes, allowing them to dive deep underwater in search of food.



Meerkats are known for their upright “sentinel” posture as they stand on their hind legs to watch for predators.

One of the most distinctive features of the meerkat is its small ears. These tiny ears are perfect for the meerkat’s lifestyle as a burrowing animal. Meerkats live in various habitats, including arid or semi-arid open plains and rocky crevices near rivers. They are most commonly found in velds, which are flat, open habitats covered by scrub, grasses, and sparse trees.

Meerkats are social animals and live in groups called “mobs” or “gangs”. These groups can range from a few individuals to as many as 40. Within these groups, there is a strict social hierarchy. The dominant pair is in charge of breeding, while other group members help with tasks such as foraging for food and caring for the young.

Meerkats are omnivores and eat a variety of foods, including insects, small mammals, birds, and reptiles. They also eat fruit and other plant material. Meerkats have a unique way of foraging for food. They work together to dig for prey and take turns standing guard to watch for predators while others search for food.

Black Footed Ferret

Black footed ferret.
Kimberly Fraser / USFWS, Public domain, via Wikimedia Commons

Black-footed ferrets are slender, wiry animals with a black facemask, black feet, and a black-tipped tail. They blend well with grassland soils and plants, making them well-adapted to their prairie environment.

These ferrets are carnivores, and their diet consists mainly of prairie dogs. They are among the few animals that can eat prairie dogs without getting sick. They also eat other small mammals like mice and voles.

Black-footed ferrets are nocturnal animals, which means they are most active at night. During the day, they sleep in underground burrows. They are solitary animals and only come together to mate.


Yellow mongoose.
Yellow mongoose, jannyjus/

These small carnivores are known for their agility and speed, making them excellent hunters and escape artists.

Mongoose is part of the Herpestidae family, which includes over 30 species. They are found in Africa, Asia, and southern Europe and have distinctive long, slender body and short legs. Their small ears are rounded and sit close to their head, which helps them avoid detection when hunting or hiding from predators.

One of the most famous species of mongoose is the Indian grey mongoose, which was made famous in Rudyard Kipling’s “The Jungle Book.” These small animals are known for their intelligence and have been observed using tools to extract food from hard-to-reach places.

Another interesting species of mongoose is the banded mongoose, which lives in large groups called troops. These social animals communicate with each other through a variety of vocalizations and body language and work together to protect their young and defend their territory.

Despite their small size, mongooses are fierce predators known to take on animals much larger than themselves. They have sharp teeth and claws and can move quickly and with great agility, making them a formidable opponent to many other animals.