First Photos of New Tiny Deer Species That Weighs The Same as a Dachshund

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This is the first photo of a new tiny deer species, that weighs the same as a dachshund dog or a Jack Russell Terrier.

According to a study published in the Journal of Mammalogy, the tiny deer was discovered in the Andes Mountains in Peru — making it the first new deer species found in South America for over 60 years.

The new species is a form of pudu — the world’s smallest deer. These dwarf deer are unique to the central Andes, and they can live anywhere from the cold and windswept Andean grasslands to the misty cloud forests of the range’s lower slopes.

In the study, a team of scientists revealed that the first sightings of the new species — which has now been named “Pudella carlae” — emerged when researcher Javier Barrio spotted the strange and diminutive deer in the wild.

“He’d seen the animals in the field, and they looked different from others in the north,” fellow study author Guillermo D’Elia tells New Scientist.

A Dwarf Deer That Weighs The Same as a Small Dog

The team of scientists, which also included Eliécer E Gutiérrez, were inspired by Barrio’s sighting and began analyzing the various pudu specimens in a museum. They took measurements, studied color patterns, and carried out genetic tests for DNA differences.

The scientists’ extensive tests revealed that the tiny deer was a brand new species, which is believed to live exclusively in the dry valleys of Peru’s Huancabamba Depression.

Pudella carlae. Photo by SERNANP.

According to Discover Wildlife, this adorably tiny deer has a height of around 38cm tall (14.9 inches) and weighs around 15.4 to 19.8lbs (7 to 9 kg) which is approximately around the same weight as a dachshund. The tiny deer is also about the size as a Jack Russell Terrier.

The body of the new species is a much rustier brown than its relatives which the study authors describe as “rich reddish brown or orange-red.” This dwarf deer also has a paler head and ears.

“We don’t yet know if the new species arose from a population that became isolated when the depression formed, or from animals that later colonized and adapted, but we intend to find out,” D’Elia tells New Scientist.

Image credits: Header Photo by Ramiro Yábar, courtesy of Guillermo D’Elía..