The pudu deer consist of 2 known species of South American deer and are the world’s smallest deer. The name comes from Mapudungun, the language of the indigenous Mapuche people of central Chile and south-western Argentina. These tiny deer are the size of a small dog! As mentioned, there are 2 species: the northern pudu in Colombia, Ecuador, and Peru, and the southern pudu in Chile and Argentina. Read more about these adorable critters below.
First the Stats…
Scientific name: Pudu
Weight: Up to 21 lbs.
Length: 33 inches
Lifespan: Up to 10 years
Now on to the Facts!
1.) They may be cute, but they are a little on the dirty side, leaving huge piles of dung as a way of marking their territory.
2.) Like other deer, they are strictly herbivorous (eat only plant matter). Their diet consists of leaves, soft twigs, shoots, and low growing fruit.
3.) These critters are primarily nocturnal (active at night).
4.) Pudus are solitary and secretive animals that only come together to mate.
But wait, there’s more on the pudu!
6.) Pudu deer mate in the fall and the young have a 210 day gestation period before being born at a diminutive 3 lbs.
7.) The fawn reach their full size in only 3 months!
Did you know…?
They are listed as near threatened by the IUCN, due to hunting, zoo collection, road accidents, the pet trade, competition for food with wild pigs, and habitat loss.
8.) Male southern pudus grow tiny antlers that only measure less than 4 inches long and they are shed once a year.