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Friday, 24 April 2015

Top 10 Micro Animals that would make Great Pets

We've all sat there wondering what our favourite pet would be, but more often than not, our choice has had to remain a dream. But by shrinking down some of those ideas we may have just found the most viable way to make those dreams a reality. So forget the dogs, cats, guinea pigs and mice, because we've created a list of ten animals that we think would make great micro pets. 

10. Horse 
Image credit: Moyan Brenn
Having accompanied humans for centuries, horses are an obvious choice when it comes to shrinking down a potential bedside companion. Horses have been pets for a long time but up until now we've had to keep them in stables, feed them on countless bails of hay and shovel a ridiculous amount of turd. Interestingly, horses produce on average 7.5 tonnes of manure a year, so it would probably be best to find something larger than the standard cat litter tray when it comes to waste management! 

However, on a positive note, a micro horse would be much like a dog. It would need walks everyday, lots of nutritious food and constant company, but it would certainly be worth all of the effort. An interesting study was done in 2010 showing that horses had incredibly good memories, almost always remembering humans who they had had a positive encounter with in the past - perhaps making this beloved micro pet a rival to man's best friend. 

9. Cow 
Image credit: Jelle

Not an obvious choice, these grass-munching animals aren't exactly the most lively creatures, but they provide a good way to keep the grass down without needing too much exercise. Like the horse they would probably need a large litter tray but another by-product which is much easier on the nose is milk. In 2013, the average milk yield in the UK for dairy cows reached 7,717 liters - that's a lot of cereal filler! 

The constant milk production isn't the best thing either. It's a wasted fact but one cow would produce roughly 30 gallons of manure a day  - yes, the fact it's in gallons isn't exactly appealing, but cow manure has been a well-known provider of electricity for years now. Not only can you milk the micro cow, but you can store its pure creamy product in a fridge powered by yours truly. Now, just imagine what you could do with three or more of these power houses. 

8. Elephant
Image credit: Ronald Saunders
 African elephants are the largest land animal on the planet, so this one is for pure curiosity value. Imagine an elephant which you could not only fit on the end of your bed, but one that would act as the coolest alarm clock in the world. With the elephant capable of producing sounds of up to 112 decibels it may be best to keep this one in a kennel outside at night 

A micro elephant may not eat as much as a fully grown adult elephant but it's worth noting that these big boys consume between 200-600 pounds of food, as well as drinking up to 50 gallons of water a day. That's a lot of sustenance, but you can at least be assured these friendly not-so-giants will be a lifelong companion,  some even living for well over 70 years. 

7. Hippo
Image credit: Matt Biddulph
 Spending around 16 hours a day in the water, it's probably best if this micro animal is given a pond or unquestionable use of the bath. A tiny hippo would be a great animal to have around the house, and relative to their size they don't actually eat as much as people think, making for a low maintenance pet. Also, the cute rounded face is an ideal pick me up after your long day at school or work - the micro hippo really does have a lot of potential here. 

The "river horse", as it was originally known, is the perfect pet to have around during summer time. From their glands these animals produce a sticky red substance which acts as sunscreen, meaning that you won't have to buy any from the store anymore. The sticky red substance also has antibacterial properties so you can leave soap off of the shopping list, too! 

6. Rhino 
Image credit: Steve Wilson
The perfect micro pet. Not only do you get a strong robust animal to do all of your rock smashing and door knocking, but the Rhino has a great head of hair. It's not very well-known but a rhino's horn is not actually made of bone as commonly believed, it is in fact made of keratin, the same material from which human hair and nails are created. The horn is a series of compacted hairs which is what gives it incredible strength, but this also allows the horn to grow throughout the rhino's lifetime. 

If you plan on breeding your micro rhino then you should perhaps be prepared for the long haul. Rhino pregnancies last for up to 17 months, while labour is a gruelling 50 hour waiting period, so expect mood swings for an animal with one hell of a head-butt.  

5. Camel 
Image credit: amira_a
A micro camel might be difficult to ride, but being able to carry up to 500 pounds of weight on their backs means this animal is the perfect trade for a carbon footprint the size of a car. One thing you don't want to do is give a camel the hump. Mistakenly known for spitting at people, camels in fact regurgitate the contents of their stomach before projecting this at animals or people they consider a threat - it's  more like throwing up as opposed to spitting, so watch out! 

You may feel inclined to buy more than one micro camel for the back garden as camels are primarily herd animals and should not be kept on their own. Forming a complex hierarchy based on alpha males, it's important for camels to feel wanted by their own species so it's not good enough just to spend a lot of time with these ones. 

4. Seal 
Image credit: Stefan Magdalinski
The playful choice, seals are known for their lively attitude towards life, always playing tricks on each other as they play in the sun. Although seals would have to drop a considerable number of waist sizes before being classified as a micro pet, they would be a lot easier to feed, only eating about 5% of their body weight. 

With their food consumption in mind, it may also be important to note that these guys are included as carnivores so don't be surprised to find your micro seal has teething problems. If you don't feed your pet micro seal enough meat he'll definitely be seeing goldfish where your fingers used to be. You'll also have to make sure he or she has plenty of water to roam around in, a regular visit to the local fishing lake may be required but be careful, they may have rules regarding eating their stock. 

3. Shark 
Image credit: Steve Garner
A peculiar one, but definitely one for the wanna-be villains out there! Did you ever find yourself watching hero movies but always rooting for the bad guy? Well, why not become the bad guy with your very own micro shark?! However, it's important to know that it's actually a myth that sharks can smell blood from miles away, although they can smell blood, they will often leave the bleeding animal if they’re not hungry. 

We'd also find ourselves very rich if we were to accrue a pet micro shark. This is because sharks lose around 1,000 teeth a year - you'll struggle to fit them all under one pillow but with all of the cash you'll be bringing in from the tooth fairy you can get a spacious double bed to maximise the pillow count. For obvious reasons you'd have to be careful with a pet micro shark but it would certainly be something to bring the friends over for. 

2. Giraffe 
Image credit: Tambako The Jaguar
Giraffes are easy maintenance due to them only needing a drink every several days or so, but a micro giraffe would pose some mischievous circumstances. Giraffes would lose the advantage of being able to reach the untouched leaves at the top of the tree, but they would still be able to sneak a bite of that cheese and cucumber sarnie you've got on the kitchen counter. Don't think you'll catch them either before they scoff down the tasty treat, reaching speeds of up to 52 mph you may find it's not worth the hassle chasing these deceptively quick creatures. 

Giraffes offer a number of helpful grooming actions too, with their insanely long tongues you can enjoy the giraffe doing a bit of spring cleaning around the bedroom, while also being able to get at those hard-to-reach boogers up your nose. Yes, giraffes pick their noses, but they're remarkably clean animals so we may be able to make an exception this time. 

1. Bear 
Image credit: Tambako The Jaguar
The grizzly bear may look cute, and in many ways it is but it's incredibly vicious if you catch it at the wrong moment. Bears tend to become vicious if they're feeling nervous so maybe don’t parade this micro pet around the stage at your nearest concert hall. However, this one is for all of us who had a teddy bear growing up, we would give them names, take them with us on journeys away from the house and hug them before drifting off to sleep. 

With an average life span of 25 years we can look forward to years of enjoyment out of these cuddly creatures, so there's no need to fret as you're growing up with these micro pets. You can also be sure to increase your fishing take if you're a fisherman, these micro bears will be able to catch large numbers of fish for dinner - now that's a lot of salmon!

From sharks to giraffes, there's a huge number of animals that would make superb micro pets. Feel like we've overlooked some incredible creatures? Let us know by commenting below.