Last week I took a little look at some of the biggest things the world has to offer. We held hands on a journey from A all the way to Z glancing sideways at the world’s weirdest, longest things. Today I’ve begun a journey in the same direction but looking through the other end of the telescope. Here’s an alphabetised list of some of the smallest things in a variety of disparate categories.
A) Smallest Alphabet
Well this seems like a pretty appropriate place to start. The Rotokas language is spoken by just 4,000 people in Bougainville, an island to the east of Papa New Guinea, its alphabet consists of just 12 letters. It makes our 26 look a little bit showy. The only letters they get to use are A E G I K O P R S T U and V.
That’s their flag up above if you were wondering. It kicks the crap out of the Union Jack don’t you think?
B) Smallest Bat
Kitti’s hog-nosed bat or Craseonycteris thonglongyai for Latin speakers, is the smallest bat in the Universe. It’s diminutive size has earned it the alternative moniker of bumblebee bat. They chill out in caves around Thailand and Burma and some consider them the smallest mammals in the world. They weigh just 2g and are around 3 cm long. Bite sized basically. They’re now considered endangered I’m afraid.
C) Smallest Cow
I like cows. Not in a weird way, I just think they’re cool. Cows can be dangerous, but it general they’re just super chilled and I respect that.
Back in 2010, the cow pictured above was awarded the ultimate accolade by Mr Guinness and his world of weird records. Swallow is an 11-year-old female cow from Cheshire, she stands at just 80 cm tall which is shorter than most sheep. Her miniature aspect saved her from the abattoir and she can now rest assured that she won’t become a burger.
D) Smallest Dinosaur
There’s a few contenders for the smallest dinosaur, it depends how you measure them you see. Another problem is working out whether you have a tiny dinosaur fossil or just a baby dinosaur. But the most commonly quoted winner of smallest extinct dinosaur is Compsognathus, which is why he starred in Jurassic Park probably. Compsognathus lived about 150 million years ago and were about the size of a turkey.
Compsognathus’ stomach contents were well-preserved in one specimen, so we’re pretty confident we know what they liked to eat. He liked to chow down on small lizards and insects it turns out.
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