These tiny creatures are approximately the size of a household dog and represent the smallest deer species worldwide.
There are two distinct pudu species, and they exclusively inhabit South America.
The pudu found in Argentina and Chile is known as the southern pudu, while the one found in Peru, Venezuela, Ecuador, and Colombia is called the northern pudu.
They have a height of merely 12 to 16 inches when standing.
Pudus, similar to many other herbivorous animals, follow a plant-based diet consisting of leaves, grass, seeds, and fallen fruit to sustain themselves.
To reach foliage, they have the ability to stand on their hind legs, and unlike their larger deer relatives, they can also ascend trees when necessary.
Pudus are vigilant creatures and remain on high alert for potential predators. When pursued, they employ a zigzag running pattern, making it challenging for larger predators to capture them.
They also possess remarkable climbing and leaping abilities when necessary.
These unique creatures can be found in the dense forests of South America, where they create intricate pathways to facilitate their browsing of the undergrowth.
Pudus typically come together only during mating season, which usually occurs in the fall. They mate before giving birth to one or two fawns in the springtime.
Like their larger deer relatives, male pudus possess antlers.
On average, their lifespan ranges from 8 to 10 years, although various external factors such as habitat loss, diseases, and parasites transmitted by domestic dogs pose a threat to their survival.
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