5 min read

Meet The Top 7 Most Adorable Predators

<p>Credit: Luz Rovira</p>

Beware! These deadly killers will have you ooh-ing and aah-ing the day away.

1. Long-tailed weasels are almost too cute to be carnivores.

[Source]

The meat-only long-tailed weasel resembles a furry hot dog with a skinny black-tipped tail. But don't let all that adorable deceive you: long-tailed weasels can kill animals several times their size –- sometimes they even eat other long-tailed weasels -– and the smell of blood can send them into a killing rage.

2. The playful jaguar doesn't joke while on the hunt.

[Source]

Unlike many of their big cat cousins, jaguars don't mind water, and their powerful climbing and swimming abilities make them one of the most feared predators of Central and South America. Jaguars generally hunt large native animals like peccaries and crocodiles, but they can't help feasting on the cattle of local ranchers now and again. And could you stay mad at that face?

3. Don't let the fossa's pretty eyes fool you...

[Source]

This mongoose relative is Madagascar's largest native carnivore. Its retractable claws and incredible speed, plus its tendency to hunt both at night and during the day, add up to one extra-deadly adorable predator.

4. A meerkat's favorite snack? Scorpion.

[Source]

Meerkats have adapted resistance to the poisons of some snakes and scorpions. They usually bite off the stingers and deadly tails of scorpions and drag dead poisonous prey across the desert before chowing down, to reduce their toxin consumption. These precious young meerkats are picking up hunting behaviors from their parents and elders.

5. Those polar bear noses aren't just darling accessories!

[Source]

Polar bears have highly developed senses of smell that they use to find breathing holes in the ice. They are very patient hunters, often having to wait hours or days for their prey to pop up out of the water. That's a lot of aww-worthy naps.

6. These fluffy arctic foxes love their lemmings.

[Source]

While arctic foxes are opportunistic consumers and will eat other animals' leftovers, they are also highly talented hunters. Their super-powered hearing allows them to track prey under the snow and then they jump up and pounce right through it, usually on top of a tasty lemming. The arctic fox's bushy tail, perky ears, and cunning little grin make it the runner-up for cuddliest predator.

7. The mighty (snuggly) snow leopard reigns supreme!

[Source]

Snow leopards are so good at hunting, they usually only have to bring home a couple large kills per month. They can take on prey up to three times their size, with the advantages of their speed, power, and extra-large paws helping them race over the snow. Instead of roaring (their throats aren't properly equipped) they "chuff." These big cats' sweet spots, expressive eyes, and fluffy coats put them clearly in the lead for the most adorable killers in the animal kingdom.

That sleepy leopard is too cuddly to handle! (But really, don't try to cuddle a leopard.)