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10 Skinny Animals

Have you ever noticed how some animals seem extra skinny and slender? While all creatures come in different shapes and sizes, certain species are known for their super slim builds. In this blog post, we’ll look at 10 skinny animals and what makes them so thin and lean. From lengthwise stretched-out meerkats to wafer-thin butterfly fish, these skinny creatures of the animal kingdom are fascinating in their own unique ways. Read on to learn more about these slender beasts!


Skinny animals meerkat.

Meerkats are small mongoose species found in the deserts and savannas of southern Africa. These social animals are extremely slim, with long, thin torsos and spindly limbs. An adult meerkat typically weighs around 2 pounds but has a body length of 10 to 15 inches – giving them a tubular, stretched-out appearance.

Meerkats are built for speed and agility. Their skinny build allows them to sprint fast across open ground if predators approach. They can also stand fully upright on their hind legs and peer around while looking for threats. The meerkat’s thin frame and light weight enable this upright stance. Their minimal body fat helps them stay cool in intensely hot desert environments.

Being skinny is useful when meerkats must quickly duck into their underground burrows. Their slender bodies can slip through the tight tunnels and crevices easily. Overall, the meerkat’s matchstick-like physique is the perfect adaptation for its life-hunting insects and staying safe in harsh deserts.


With their slinky, noodle-like physique, weasels are some of the skinniest carnivores. These small, fierce hunters have an extremely elongated body shape with a sinewy, tubular trunk. Just how skinny are they? The world’s smallest carnivoran, the least weasel can squeeze through openings less than half an inch wide!

A weasel’s skinny build lets it hunt prey like mice and voles by burrowing into their nests and tunnels. Their lean muscles and compressible ribcage allow them to wiggle into the tightest underground spaces. Above ground, their thin profile helps them stealthily sneak through vegetation after prey without making a sound.

Weasels also have skinny tails in proportion to their bodies. This helps their long, lean silhouette move quickly and athletically to catch fast-moving rodents. Overall, the weasel’s skinny but strong physique is the key to its remarkable hunting abilities. Their slender frames allow impressive feats like bringing down prey twice their size!


Few aquatic creatures come close to the eel regarding skinny appearances. Eels have notoriously lengthy, thin bodies that contort and twist through water. There are many different eel species, but they share a common serpent-like shape.

Eels have skeletal structures with many vertebrae, sometimes over 100. This gives them their signature lengthy dimensions. For instance, the slender giant moray eel can grow over 10 feet long! Yet their bodies remain narrow, with bodies around 6 inches in diameter across their midsection. This makes for an extremely skinny, snakelike silhouette.

An eel’s skinny build helps it be an effective swimmer and underwater predator. Their streamlined frames allow them to swim rapidly and stealthily to ambush prey. Skinniness enables some eels to hide effectively by squeezing into tight crevices between rocks. Overall, the eel’s distinct skinny but muscular physique plays a vital role in its lifestyle and survival.


With their triangular heads, bulging eyes, and spiked forearms, praying mantises have an unmistakable alien-like appearance. But have you noticed their other notably skinny body features?

Mantises actually have a skinny and lanky build underneath their tough exoskeletons. This stems from their body structure – they have long, narrow thoraxes and thin stick-like legs. After moulting their hard external skeletons during growth, mantises appear especially skinny and gangly.

The mantis’ skinny construction suits its habits as an ambush predators. Their long, thin legs allow them to perch very still atop plants and foliage, with little visible profile. Skinniness enables them to conceal themselves fully from prey until striking with their swift forearms.

Even while active, their thin limbs give them agility for snatching insects and climbing branches. Plus, their wispy frames don’t require much energy to fuel, letting them survive for weeks without eating. Their skinny build definitely helps mantises succeed as sly hunters!


Ferrets are part of the weasel family, so it’s no surprise they share a similar skinny body plan. These domesticated relatives of polecats have an extended tubular torso, short legs, and a thin whiplash tail – giving a stretched-out skinny silhouette.

A ferret’s body can reach up to 18 inches long while weighing just 2-4 pounds. Their trunk has an extremely flexible and compressible skeleton, with just 13 ribs compared to a human’s 24. Squeezing in allows them to shrink their diameter to just a couple of inches. Ferrets put their skinny structures to great use when hunting prey through burrows and tunnels. They can even shape their slim bodies to slink through pipes, drainage holes, and other cramped areas.

When not squeezed into tight spaces, ferrets remain lively and sinuous. Their skinny but muscular frames support great agility and speed for chasing prey above ground. The ferret’s skinny yet strong physique makes it a successful predator and endearing pet.


Closely related to ferrets and weasels are stoats – small, fierce predators with archetypal skinny physiques. Also known as short-tailed weasels, stoats have elongated, tube-shaped torsos just 6-9 inches long. Their bodies are only around 1 inch in diameter while weighing a mere 3-7 ounces.

One stoat feature that amplifies its skinny vibe is its proportions. Short-tailed weasels have relatively much longer bodies and shorter limbs compared to long-tailed weasels. This gives them an even more pronounced slinky silhouette.

A stoat’s skinny shape helps it hunt rodents by pursuing them in burrows and tunnels. They can swiftly dart into cramped runways thanks to their compact cylindrical torsos. Above ground, their thin profiles allow them to stay hidden while sneaking up on prey. Their slim yet muscular frames also enable them to be agile hunters. A stoat’s skinny build helps it excel as a stealthy predator and infiltration expert!


Skinniness reaches an extreme with needlefish, which have pencil-thin bodies covered by paper-thin scales. These bizarre fish have trunks up to 3 feet long but less than an inch wide. This makes them the slimmest bony fish species alive.

Needlefish fins are also skinny and diminished in size. Their dorsal and anal fins run along the length of their bodies, while pectoral fins sit low on their bellies. This streamlined, skinny profile allows them to jet through water when chasing prey quickly. Some attain speeds over 40mph!

Another benefit of their skinny, spear-shaped structure is stealthy movement. Needlefish can quickly turn and cut through the water with barely any splash or ripple. This keeps them well-concealed when stalking other fish. The needlefish’s exceptionally skinny anatomy equips it with superb agility, acceleration, and furtiveness.


The cheetah is the world’s fastest land animal, reaching up to 70mph during short bursts of sprinting. An ultra-skinny, lightweight physique assists this incredible speed with a flexible spine and streamlined proportions. A cheetah’s slim build minimizes drag and allows greater agility when running after prey across open plains.

Cheetahs have thinner bodies, smaller heads, and lighter bones than other big cats. Their long, thin legs have an aerodynamic structure with a tiny frontal area to slice through the air while running. A cheetah’s skinny tail is a rudder to provide balance and sharp steering.

While they can seem gangly and frail, cheetahs are pure muscle and only weigh 100-150lbs. Each part of their skinny anatomy is precisely adapted to enable incredible acceleration on land. Try picturing these skinny cats hitting highway speeds out in the savannah sometime!

Butterfly Fish

Butterfly fish are some of the most compressed and laterally condensed fish around. These extraordinary creatures are found on coral reefs and have bodies that look like they’ve been pancaked down to wafer-thin widths.

There are over 100 species of butterfly fish, but most share an extremely skinny oval-shaped body. Some species, such as the Klein’s butterflyfish, have bodies less than a quarter inch thick! Yet they can reach lengths of 4-6 inches. With oversized dorsal and anal fins, butterfly fish appear even skinnier from above.

Butterfly fish’s skeletal structure is fused and lacks ribs or intermuscular bones. This allows them to remain flat and dexterous. Their skinny build helps them flit smoothly through tight reef spaces to find small prey. It also allows them to escape predators by squeezing into impossible hiding spots. Butterfly fish certainly exemplify skinny adaptiveness in ocean life!

Great Crested Newt

The great crested newt stands out as one of Britain’s most slender amphibians. These large newts have elongated bodies more like a fish than a stout toad or frog. An adult grows up to 16cm long while weighing just 40g.

Great crested newts have an impressively skinny profile aided by their smooth, slimy skin. Their long, flat tails are nearly half their length, and their limbs are thin and spindly. Rows of tiny black dots also run along their backs like trim lines, accentuating their lean figures!

When swimming, great crested newts appear even more skinny and eel-like as they propel through the water. Their thin hydrodynamic bodies allow them to be graceful, efficient swimmers. Skinniness also assists their underwater camouflage, allowing newts to sneak past predators.