Tuesday, February 14, 2012


Pudu puda
There are two species of Pudu in the world, the Northern and the Southern. Both are found in South America, appropriately hanging out int he northern and southern stretches of the Andes, respectively. They also (in my opinion) have some of the cutest babies in the entire animal kingdom. Just watch the video if you don't believe me.

The Northern Pudu is the smallest species of deer in the entire world, and the Southern is only a hair bit larger. They have stocky bodies and skinny little legs, and the main difference between males and females is the presence of antlers in the former.

Not much is known about Pudu behavior in the wild because they are both solitary and secretive. They come together only during rut, and the female gives birth to a single fawn that she raises alone. Fawns wean after 2 months, are full grown by 3, and are sexually mature by 8. However, they often stay with their mothers for 8-12 months before leaving and becoming fully independent.

Pudu are active during both the night and day time, and they forage for food along a network of trails and pathways that they create through frequent use. They mark these territories using scent glands. Sometimes Pudu are simply too small to reach their meals, forcing them to stand up on their hind legs to feed.

Both species of Pudu are listed as Vulnerable. This is due to hunting and habitat loss. Captive breeding programs have been set up, and there plans to reintroduce them to the wild.

IUCN Status : Vulnerable
Location : South America
Size : Height up to 18in (45cm), Weight up to 30lbs (13.5kg)
Classification : Phylum : Chordata -- Class : Mammalia -- Order : Artiodactyla
Family : Cervidae -- Genus : Pudu -- Species : P. puda, P. mephistophiles

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