These tiny deer are roughly the size of a domestic dog and are the world’s smallest species of deer.
The pudu is divided into two species, both of which are found in South America.
The northern pudu is native to Peru, Venezuela, Ecuador, and Colombia, while the southern pudu is native to Argentina and Chile.
They are just about 12 to 16 inches tall.
Pudus, like most other grazing animals, are vegetarians. They eat leaves, grass, seeds, and fruit that falls to the ground.
By standing on their back legs, they can reach foliage. They can also climb trees, unlike their bigger deer relatives, when they need to.
Pudus are wary animals that are constantly on the lookout for predators. When they are pursued, they run in a zigzag pattern, making them more difficult to catch by larger predators.
They are also capable of climbing and jumping when necessary.
These solitary animals live in dense South American forests, where they build a complex trail system to help them find their way through the trees.
Pudus are only observed together during mating, which is usually in the fall, before giving birth to one or two fawns in the spring.
Male pudus, like their larger deer cousins, are distinguished by their antlers.
Their lifespan is typically 8 to 10 years, but this is at risk due to a variety of external causes, such as habitat degradation, as well as infections and parasites obtained from domestic dogs.