The pudús (Pudu), considered to be the world's smallest deer, are native to South America. There are two species of pudú: the Northern pudú (Pudu mephistophiles) from Colombia, Ecuador, Peru and Chile, which stands about 12 to 14 inches (30 to 36 centimetres) at the shoulder; and the Southern or Chilean Pudú (Pudu puda) from southern Chile and southwestern Argentina, which averages between 14 to 16 inches (36 to 41 centimetres). Males sprout small (7-10 cm) antlers which are shed annually.
Both species of pudú subsist on a diet of grass, leaves, and fallen fruit. In the wild, their life expectancy is between eight and ten years. The Southern species is endangered (IUCN status: vulnerable), primarily due to hunting and habitat loss from human agriculture and land development.
The pudú has several interesting characteristics that distinguish it from other deer. It is able to climb fallen trees, and it is sometimes forced to do so, both to escape predators and reach food. Because of its small size, it is often forced to balance on its hind legs to reach foliage. When threatened, it barks in alarm.
Because it lives in the dense forests of South America, it requires an efficient way to travel throughout the undergrowth. Pudú maintain a complex system of paths and trails that allow them to quickly get from one place to another. Such paths often lead to excellent places to rest, mate or find food.
Pudú mate between April and June, and gestation periods range from 200 to 220 days, giving birth to one or occasionally two young.
Its predators are typically eagles, owls, cougars, foxes, and small cats.
Uncommonly spotted in its natural habitat, the pudu is a solitary animal whose behavior in the wild is largely unknown due to its secretive nature. They are active both day and night, though mostly in the morning, late afternoon, and evening. Their home ranges, extending about 16-25 hectares, consist of overlapping well trodden paths. A single animal's territory is marked with sizeable dung piles found on paths and near resting areas. Large facial glands for scent communication allow correspondence with other pudu deer. Pudu only come in contact to mate.
The pudú's diet in the wild consists of buds, leaves, grass, and fallen fruit.  In captivity, their diet consists of carrot, sweet potato, green beans, greens, grain, and alfalfa hay. Pudú make well-defined trails that lead to feeding areas, defined by use of urine, droppings, and secretions from the preorbital and frontal glands. To reach higher food sources Pudú will climb fallen trees or stand on their hind legs, both behaviors unique among deer. 
The pudú lives in the temperate forest of several countries in South America. Dense underbrush and bamboo thickets offer protection to the deer from predators. The pudú, however, does venture out into more open areas to feed. These deer can be found on the the mountainsides in elevations upto 1,700 meters above sea level, and can also be found in lower altitudes and along the coast.
- Grubb, P. (2005). Wilson, D.E.; Reeder, D.M., eds. Mammal Species of the World: A Taxonomic and Geographic Reference (3rd ed.). Johns Hopkins University Press. ISBN 978-0-8018-8221-0. OCLC 62265494.
- "Pudu puda, Southern pudu". Retrieved 2008-04-06.
- "The Wildlife of Northern Patagonia". Frontier Patagonia. http://frontierpatagonia.com/FrontierPatagonia/Wildlife.htm. Retrieved 2009-09-20.
- "Southern Pudu". Bristol Zoo. http://www.bristolzoo.org.uk/learning/animals/mammals/pudu. Retrieved 2009-09-19.
- "Pudu puda(southern pudu)". Animal Diversity Web (ADW) - online database of animal natural history, distribution, classification, and conservation biology at the University of Michigan. http://animaldiversity.ummz.umich.edu/site/accounts/information/Pudu_puda.html. Retrieved 2009-09-19.
- "Southern Pudu". Animal Planet http://animal.discovery.com/guides/mammals/habitat/tempforest/southpudu.html. Retrieved 2009-10-12.
- "Chilean Pudu". Jacksonville Zoo. http://www.jacksonvillezoo.org/animals/chileanpudu.asp. Retrieved 2009-10-12.
- "Southern Pudu". Arkive - Images of Life on Earth. Retrieved 2009-09-19.
|Wikimedia Commons has media related to Pudú.|
- UltimateUngulate.com entry on the Southern Pudú
- Animal Planet page on the Southern Pudú
- Bristol Zoo page on the Southern Pudú