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11 of the smallest mammals in the world

By: Bryan Nelson on Nov. 17, 2010, 10:18 a.m.

Photo: ZUMA Press

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For their size, these minuscule mammals sure can jump. Jerboas have kangaroo-like legs which allow them to leap distances far exceeding their body lengths, an adaptation that helps them move quickly over the vast, arid deserts that they call home.

This ability is a great example of convergent evolution; Although jerboas may resemble miniature kangaroos, they aren't actually related to them. In fact, they are rodents.

The smallest species is the pygmy jerboa, which also happens to be the smallest rodent in the world.