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8 of the smallest animals of their kind

By: Katherine Butler on Sept. 26, 2011, 8:43 a.m.
hummingbird on branch

Photo: Wikimedia Commons

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Bee hummingbird

The male bee hummingbird, also known as Zunzuncito (Mellisuga helenae), is known as the smallest living bird. (The female is slightly larger.) Living in Cuba and Isla de la Juventud, it weighs less than 1/10 ounce and reaches a length of  2 1/4 inches. Despite its buggy moniker, the bee hummingbird is 100 percent bird. Like many hummingbirds, it enjoys nectar and insects for its meals. Classified as near threatened, bee hummingbirds are known to live up to seven years in the wild, and 10 years in captivity.