We’ve found the planet’s cutest animals and squeezed them into our new children’s book. From smiling alpacas and pygmy elephants to ocelots and inquisitive quokkas, there’s a mix of family favourites and charming, lesser-known critters – here are 20 to get you in the mood to coo.
WARNING: You may want to cuddle your screen as you scroll.
Malayan tapir (Asia)
These animals have long, trunk-like noses like elephants, which they use to pull branches, leaves, and fruit from trees. They can also use their noses as snorkels to breathe underwater.
Puffin (Arctic Circle)
Don’t let the expression fool you! Puffins are very efficient hunters. They have spines on their upper beak and tongue, which are perfect for catching fish. And they can carry an average of 10 fish in their bill at once!
Red panda (Asia)
Red pandas eat lots of bamboo. They’re also expert climbers and spend most of their time in the trees – even when they eat and sleep! They wrap themselves in their big, fluffy tails to keep warm at night.
Bearded emperor tamarin (South America)
Bearded emperor tamarins have more of an adorable-looking mustache than a beard. They live in the rainforest, and are very social animals that groom each other often. This strengthens bonds between the members of the group.
Wallace’s flying frog (Asia)
These adventurous amphibians have a secret trick. They can fly! Well, sort of. When they jump and spread all four of their webbed feet at once, they can travel up to 15 metres in the air. Their feet act as wings!
Capybara (South America)
Capybaras are semiaquatic mammals that dive into water to escape predators. They can stay underwater for as long as five minutes. Like hippos, their eyes, ears and nostrils are all near the top of their heads. So they need only pop up the slightest bit to catch a breath!
African helmeted turtle (Africa)
African helmeted turtles bury their whole bodies in mud to protect themselves. When found above ground, they look like they’re smiling – like they’re happy to see you!
Slow loris (Asia)
They may look sweet, but slow lorises are actually one of the few types of mammals with a venomous bite. Slow lorises will even lick their young to cover them in the toxin, so predators think twice before trying to eat them.
Fennec fox (Africa)
Fennec foxes are specially adapted for the desert. Their big, batty ears can grow up to half their size and release heat to keep their bodies cool. They also have extra-hairy feet to protect them from the hot sand.
Alpaca (South America)
Alpacas have the cutest underbite! They don’t have any front teeth in the top row. This is what gives them that million-dollar smile. They also have very soft, warm fur. Farmers have to shear the fleece just so they don’t overheat in the summer!
Siberian chipmunk (Asia)
Siberian chipmunks are good little diggers. They make huge underground burrows for themselves, and fill them up with food to last them while they hibernate all winter long. They only wake up to snack before snuggling back down to sleep.
Northern pygmy owl (North America)
Good things come to those who wait. Northern pygmy owls hunt by staying totally still and quiet. Then they swoop down and surprise their prey out of nowhere!
Ocelot (South America)
Ocelots are bigger than house cats, but not as big as leopards or tigers. These kitties also never roar like lions do. Instead, they make chuckling or muttering sounds when they’re happy.
These shy grazers earned their name from where they like to forage for food or hide from predators: the bush! If they’re caught by surprise in the open, they’ll freeze or walk calmly to the bushes for cover.
Mandarin duck (Asia)
Male mandarin ducks (known as drakes) shimmy, preen and fluff their feathers during courting rituals! When these ducks pair up, they often stay together for many seasons.
Meerkats are some of the most cooperative animals. They work in groups as large as 50 and take turns foraging for food. They live underground in tunnel systems called burrows, where they can stay safe from predators and keep cool during hot days.
Borneo pygmy elephant (Asia)
Borneo pygmy elephants are the smallest species of elephant. Even the adults look like babies! Their tails are so long, they actually drag along the ground as they walk.
Quokkas are about the size of cats and hop like kangaroos. They burrow underground for quick naps. Don’t expect to win a game of hide-and-seek with a quokka… you might be seeking for a while!
Dugong (Africa, Asia and Australia)
Dugongs eat only sea grasses at the bottom of shallow waters. But every once in a while they have to come up for air. Sometimes dugongs “stand” on their tails, peeking just the tip of their heads above water to breathe.
Moose (Arctic Circle, Asia, Europe and North America)
Moose have thick skin adapted for cold weather. But this means they get hot! In warm weather, they are often found swimming in lakes or ponds to stay cool.