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15 Adorable Animals You Didn’t Even Know Existed

Puppies pale in comparison to these little guys.

Sand cat, Felis margarita, is a beautiful desert catVladislav T. Jirousek/Shutterstock

Sand cat

Cute as your favorite funny cat videos are, none can compare to the impossibly cartoonish, wide-faced Felis margarita. Sand cats live in the deserts of North Africa and Southwest Asia and get most of their moisture from their prey, rather than drinking water. Check out these 17 adorable pictures of baby animals that will instantly brighten your day.

Siberian flying squirrel (AKA Russian flying squirrel)Masatsugu Ohashi/Shutterstock

Siberian flying squirrel

You wouldn’t think a tubby little fluff ball like this could go very far in the air, but flaps of skin by their legs help them glide between trees. You can catch a glimpse of Siberian flying squirrels in Russia, China, and other northern areas of Asia and Europe. Tourists get especially excited to see them in Hokkaido, the only island in Japan with the furballs.

American Pika in Yellowstone National Park - Pikas are an indicator species for climate changeTom Reichner/Shutterstock


American pikas are related to rabbits and hares. They might be small, adorable animals, but they’re still tough—the little critters can survive harsh weather without burying holes. Don’t miss these heartwarming National Geographic photos of baby animals with their moms.

Fennec Foxnattanan726/Shutterstock

Fennec fox

There’s a reason fennec foxes make you say “aww”: The North African animals are the world’s smallest canine species. Fennec foxes also have the largest ears relative to their body size, which helps them give off heat and hunt prey. This fox may have been fortunate enough to get cute looks, but other animals aren’t so lucky — check out the 15 grossest animal species.

common gundi (Ctenodactylus gundi)Mr. Meijer/Shutterstock


If you thought guinea pigs were cute, try looking at a gundi without squealing. The Northern African rodents’ toes have tiny bristles that help them clean their fur.

Raccoon dog(tanuki) sitting in the grass.Korbut Ivetta/Shutterstock

Japanese raccoon dog

These adorable animals—also known as tanuki—are more closely related to dogs than raccoons. They’re monogamous, and the papa and mama Japanese raccoon dogs work together to raise their pups. Learn which other 11 animals you didn’t know mated for life.

Lesser mouse-deer (Tragulus kanchil) walking in real nature at Kengkracharn National Park,Thailandkajornyot wildlife photography/Shutterstock


These tiny creatures look straight out of a fairytale forest. It might look like a deer, but the hooved chevrotain stands at only about a foot tall at the shoulder. Instead of antlers, the male “mouse deer” have tiny fang-like tusks.

Harris Antelope SquirrelJulie A. Curtis/Shutterstock

Harris’s antelope squirrel

Who can say squirrels are pests when this adorable species exists? Found in hot desert climates in the Southwestern United States and Northwestern Mexico, Harris’s antelope squirrels use their tails as umbrellas to block out the sweltering sun. You won’t want to miss these other 50 adorable baby animal photos.

A shot of an young bongo (antelope)Nazzu/Shutterstock


Nope, bongos aren’t just drums—the African animals are also the biggest species of forest antelope in the world. As adults, their horns can grow as long as 40 inches.

Funny serval catThe Len/Shutterstock


Just look at that face! These adorable animals that look like “giraffe cats” are found in African savannas, and their long necks aren’t their only defining feature. Servals also have bigger ears than any other cat. If you think this serval is cute, don’t miss the 14 beautiful animals that could disappear in your lifetime.

Axolotl (Ambystoma mexicanum)Sergio Gutierrez Getino/Shutterstock


The “Mexican walking fish” isn’t a fish at all but is actually a salamander. Unlike other amphibians, which usually lose their dorsal fins and external gills after they grow out of the tadpole phase, the water-bound axolotls keep those features through adulthood, which explains why they’re one of the most adorable animals.

Close up view of a QuollCraig Dingle/Shutterstock


As marsupials, these Australian mammals spend their first nine weeks of life in their mama’s pouch. Despite their sweet appearance, quolls are unapologetic predators. Larger species eat birds, possums, and rabbits, while smaller ones stick with insects, birds’ eggs, and little animals. Don’t miss these 15 cute and innocent-looking animals that are surprisingly dangerous.

Ant eater (tamandua mexicana) couple in Chiapas Mexico.Adriana Margarita Larios Arellano/Shutterstock


This small anteater is cuter than its larger relatives. Its long mouth and tongue help it eat up to 9,000 ants every day (yowza!), but the tamandua also eats termites, honey, and fruit.

jerboa (Allactaga major) with a long tail and ears - a cute little animal is on the long hind legsGeoorgiy Boyko/Shutterstock


Between their tufted tails, big ears, long hind legs, and tiny front limbs, jerboas look like a lab-made mish-mosh of several species. But make no mistake: The rodents are totally natural and belong to the same family as birch mice. Their long legs help them jump high and far.

A male maned wolf standing in the forestEsmeralda Edenberg/Shutterstock

Maned wolf

Those long legs could even put Gisele Bündchen’s to shame. The fox-like maned wolf actually isn’t closely related to foxes or wolves and is the only member of the genus Chrysocyon. Its food choices are equally misleading—the biggest part of the South American animal’s diet is a berry called lobeira, which means “fruit of the wolf.” Find out which other 23 “facts” about animals you have all wrong.

Marissa Laliberte
Marissa Laliberte-Simonian is a London-based associate editor with the global promotions team at WebMD’s and was previously a staff writer for Reader's Digest. Her work has also appeared in Business Insider, Parents magazine, CreakyJoints, and the Baltimore Sun. You can find her on Instagram @marissasimonian.