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Top 10 Weakest Animals in the World (Pictures & Facts)

Top 10 Weakest Animals in the World (Pictures & Facts)

You’re already familiar with big cats and their prowess as land animals, crocodiles, and sharks ruling aquatic habitats. But what about animals on the other side of the spectrum?

Some creatures are neither large nor powerful and are found at the bottom of the low food chain ladder. Along with being weak animals, they also have few (if any) physical characteristics that enable them to protect themselves or cause any harm.

In this post, we’ll discuss some of the world’s weakest animal species and how they manage to survive in a hostile environment with deadly predators lurking around the corner.

List of 10 Weakest Animals in The World

There are more than 8 million animal species on planet Earth. Among all of them, below are listed some of the weakest.

Keep in mind that strength is relative – and if these creatures still exist today, they must be doing something right!

Domesticated Chickens

  • Scientific Name: Gallus gallus domesticus
  • Type of Animal: Bird
  • Lifespan: 3 to 7 years

Domesticated chickens rely entirely on their owners for protection. As they have almost no means of self-defense, they rightfully secured their spot on the list of the world’s weakest animals.

Namely, these familiar birds are tasty prey to various predators, such as foxes, coyotes, raccoons, and even dogs. 

Chickens have little to no protection against predation; they don’t see in the dark and fall into a deep sleep as soon as night comes. Consequently, they are easily caught by unwanted visitors. 

hen in a cage

The only way to keep a chicken safe is to protect the coop during the night. Some farmers try to keep predators away by setting traps around the property.

However, many of these predators are intelligent and can quickly adapt to the new system. As a result, it’s best to remove points of access to the coop by reinforcing it with wire and concrete.

Interestingly, while chickens may lack the strength to defend themselves, the narrative changes when their chicks are involved. In fact, mother chickens are considered some of the most protective animals in the whole animal kingdom.


  • Scientific Name: Lumbricina
  • Type of Animal: Invertebrate
  • Lifespan: 4 to 8 years

earthworm on wooden table

Worms are invertebrate animals with no limbs, eyes, or bones. They feed on dirt, decaying matter, and manure, as well as rotten vegetables and fruits.

These boneless animals have small brain capacities (with only 302 cells in their nervous system), which makes them dull and weak creatures.

Worms represent an easy meal for many predators since they are essentially defenseless and can only protect themselves by hiding. They are hunted by various animals, such as snakes, birds, turtles, beetles, and many others.

However, despite being some of the weakest animals in the world, worms’ contribution to our planet is significant.


  • Scientific Name: Folivora
  • Type of Animal: Mammal
  • Lifespan: 20 years

A sloth is not only one of the weakest animals but also one of the slowest-moving organisms in the world. The main reason for being such slow and lethargic animals is due to their extremely low metabolism rate.

However, those aren’t their only flaws. Additionally, sloths have poor eyesight.

Their bad vision makes it difficult for them to identify danger, especially during the day – as they are almost blind in bright daylight. Even if they notice that their life is at risk, they will not be able to run away fast.

sloth hanging from tree

Sloths’ only protection (besides their teeth and claws) is their way of living. Since they are arboreal (tree-dwelling) animals, they rarely go on the ground where predators are most likely to attack them.

Some of the main sloth predators include humans, wild cats, and eagles.


  • Scientific Name: Tarsiidae
  • Type of Animal: Mammal
  • Lifespan: 2 to 12 years

Tarsiers are small primates weighing only up to 5.6 oz. They live on Southeast Asian islands, and perhaps one of the most exciting things to know about them is that their giant eyeballs weigh more than their brains.

Without any means of protection, tarsiers are vulnerable and defenseless creatures targeted by various carnivores, such as owls, snakes, lizards, civets, and feral cats.

tarsier on a tree branch

In order to survive, these primates protect themselves from potential predators by hiding in tree holes or burrows.

In addition to being easy targets, tarsiers are also incredibly sensitive animals known for committing suicide when emotionally stressed.

When in an unstable mental state, these monkeys bang their heads on a tree trunk, a rock, or other hard material, often leading to their death. They are one of the very few species on the earth prone to suicide.

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Star-nosed Moles

  • Scientific Name: Condylura cristata
  • Type of Animal: Mammal
  • Lifespan: 3 to 4 years

The star-nosed mole is another weak animal with a unique and distinctive appearance. Its body is covered in dark brown fur with 22 pinky tentacles extending from its nose in a star-like shape (hence the name).

These strange-looking mammals spend most of their day feeding on snails, earthworms, and aquatic insects.

Their poor vision makes them quite vulnerable (they are practically blind).

The top predators of star-nosed moles include raptor birds, weasels, minks, and foxes.

Due to their inability to see well, moles rely on their smelling senses to identify danger. To keep themselves alive, these creatures spend most of their time underground.

Furthermore, star-nosed moles have a very strong odor which will keep (some) predators away. 


brown snail on brown ground

  • Scientific Name: Gastropoda
  • Type of Animal: Mollusks
  • Lifespan: 2 to 3 years

Snails are some of the slowest and, at the same time, one of the weakest animals on earth. They belong to a family called Gastropoda, lacking strength, speed, and other physical defense mechanisms. 

The main snail predators are people. And unfortunately, because of human actions, the snail population is facing the danger of extinction.

However, aside from humans, snakes, birds, mice, squirrels, and other small mammals feed on these weak creatures.

If a snail notices danger, it pulls back into the shell, which is its primary way of protection. It will also try to drive off predators by emitting irritating smells.

All in all, snails don’t have a lot of defense talents overall.


  • Scientific Name: Capra aegagrus hircus
  • Type of Animal: Mammal
  • Lifespan: 8 to 14 years

Primarily a farm animal, goats represent a delicious meal for carnivores such as coyotes, wolves, bobcats, mountain lions, and even eagles. 

Full-grown goats are slightly more challenging to take down, so the younger ones are more frequently preyed upon. 

white goat on green grass

You may have seen viral videos of these adorable animals fainting when spooked. The truth is that not all goats faint when they’re scared. 

The phenomenon is specific to a breed called the myotonic goat or the Tennessee fainting goat. Despite popular belief, fainting is not a defense mechanism but rather a genetic condition called myotonia congenita.

Once again, goats have little to no means of protection, especially in the wild. As a result, they heavily rely on humans to keep them safe from predation. 

Fascinatingly, researchers believe that goats are among the most loyal animals in the world, potentially capable of forming even stronger bonds with humans than dogs.


  • Scientific Name: Erinaceinae
  • Type of Animal: Mammal
  • Lifespan: 2 to 5 years

Did you know that the population of these popular pets is slowly declining across Europe? Unfortunately, the prickly mammals are pretty weak in this big, scary world.

Not only are they alluring prey to numerous predators, but they also commonly get run over by cars.

brown hedgehog on green grass

Depending on breed and location, hedgehogs are a tasty meal for birds (such as owls), ferrets, badgers, foxes, and wolves. If they are kept as pets, these cuties rely solely on humans for protection. 

However, unlike some of the other weak animals on our list, hedgehogs have developed some natural protection.

As you might have guessed, they use their spikes to deter predators away – when they get scared, they curl up in a small, prickly ball. What you may not have known, however, is that these spikes are actually part of the animal’s spine, and, as a result, they don’t detach. 


  • Scientific Name: Didelphidae
  • Type of Animal: Mammal
  • Lifespan: 1 to 2 years

Unfortunately, opossums are commonly found run over by cars, much like hedgehogs. These marsupials have poor hearing and eyesight, making them susceptible to accidental environmental death. Unsurprisingly, they are pretty weak creatures.

Not only are these animals easily killed by vehicles, but they also have plenty of natural predators. They include dogs, cats, hawks, foxes, and bobcats.

Luckily, they have adopted some forms of protection – including “playing possum.”

opposum on tree branch

An opossum will lie motionless on the ground to appear dead, making it unappetizing to most predators. Interestingly, like the goat’s “fainting,” this behavior (called tonic immobility) is a reflex, so the animal has no control over it.

On top of that, an opossum will hiss and show its teeth to a predator as a sign of aggression. Despite its relative weakness, this animal has found a few means of survival!


  • Scientific Name: Phascolarctos cinereus
  • Type of Animal: Mammal
  • Lifespan: 10 to 12 years

Koalas are herbivores, arboreal creatures that live in the forests of Australia. Besides their claws, koalas do not have many defending weapons to protect themselves against enemies.

koala sleeping leaning on a tree

Although, unlike most other members of the list, koalas do not have a lot of natural predators. Instead, they are considered weak due to their low means of survival.

These adorable animals almost exclusively feed on eucalyptus leaves. As a result, they are very susceptible to habitat loss caused by urbanization and drought.

In fact, the International Union for the Conversation of Nature has named the animal as one of the most sensitive to climate change. 

Koalas are forced to spend more time on the ground rather than in eucalyptus trees, making them vulnerable to injuries from traffic. 

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