What is the Smallest Deer in the World?

Basit Ali Chaudhary

Deer are truly amazing animals. There are 47 different species of deer around the world, but only a few are well-renowned species. Each deer type has its own characteristics. Each differs in weight, height, shape, and size. Among the 47 different species of deer, there is sure to be one that catches your attention. 

From the whitetail deer of South America to the towering Moose of North America, there is no doubt that these animals are both fascinating and beautiful. But the question under discussion is, what’s the smallest deer in the world? North American Pudu is the smallest deer in the world. A Chilean pudu, also known as the Southern pudu, is smallest member of the deer family. They grow to a maximum height of 2 feet at shoulder level. 

Let’s discuss some interesting facts about pudu deer, and also, let’s have a look at other small deer found around the world.

5 Small Species of Deer

1-Pudu Deer 


A pudu deer is the world’s smallest deer, measuring only eight inches tall at the time of birth. South American temperate rainforests are home to these gentle creatures, but habitat loss has reduced their numbers. 

Pudu has short-spiked antlers, and an adult can grow between 1.5 to 2 feet at shoulder height; they’re too cute and innocent, just like a bunny. They have black eyes and round ears that grow to about 3 inches in length. Only male pudus have antlers that only grows about 2-3 inches. 

Generally, adults don’t grow much larger than three feet in body length, with shoulder heights between 1.5 and 2 feet. They have a red-brown coat on the outside, along with slightly lighter legs and underparts. Also, they’re lighter and weigh about 25 pounds.

Throughout their native habitat of coastal Chile and parts of Western Argentina, this species stands out from their tall predecessors. 

2- Mouse Deer (Chevrotains)

Mouse deer

Second on the list is the mouse deer, another smallest deer in the world. It’s a small, fascinating animal that belongs to the family Tragulidae and infra order Tragulina. 

From forests in South and Southeast Asia to rainforests in Central and West Africa, these fascinating creatures live all over the world. They have an average body size of 1.5 feet and height of 1-2 feet, weighing between 5-18 lbs. for their Asian counterparts and 15-36 lbs. for the African chevrotain. 

In most cases, chevrotains are solitary creatures, although there have been known cases where two chevrotains lived together at the same time. However, all living species are dependent on plant matter for their sustenance.

2- Indian Muntjac

Indian Muntjac

Indian muntjac also falls in the small deer category. Indian muntjacs are unique. They are small mammals that live in thick forests and are commonly found in South Asian parts, mostly in India. It has a long, soft coat that’s denser in colder regions and can be brown, yellow, or gray in color. It has a dark face and darker limbs with white fur underneath. 

A muntjac’s antlers can grow to 4 inches and protrude from its head above its eyes which makes them easier to identify. Females have tufts of fur and bony knobs instead of antlers. They can grow to a range from 3 – 5 feet in height, and males are generally bigger in height than females. 

They defend themselves using their smaller tusks. They even bark loudly to scare off predators and gather the herd. Furthermore, Indian muntjac, although normally herbivorous mammals, also consume eggs as well as carrion, which is a quite different eating habit as compared to other deer species.

3- Truong Son Muntjac

Truong Son muntjac or Annamite muntjac is also classified as one of the small deer species. It’s also known as mystic deer, as you won’t find any live images of this deer. Mostly in the deep jungles of Vietnam, people hunt them for food.

 Scientists discovered this deer specie only by its skull remains and some other body parts found in a village in Vietnam. 

Not much is known about this deer, and people who have hunted it describe that its weight is almost half the size of the Indian muntjac or common muntjac, and it weighs around 130 lbs. It has small ears, short legs, and oval shaped head with rounded horns. 

This deer specie is very rare, and that is why it has been marked as a critically endangered animal by International Union for Conservation of Nature.

Truong Son Muntjac was discovered in 1997 in the Truong Son Mountain range in Vietnam. During the early discovery and research by scientists, they came to know that this deer is called by local people Samsoi cacoong, which means “the deer that lives in the deep and thick forests.” 

4-Pygmy Brocket Deer 

Pygmy Brocket Deer

Next to the list of small deer species is the pygmy brocket deer. It may appear to be a New World version of the muntjac, but there is actually no strong relation between them. Known for its small size and cryptic appearance, brocket deer are commonly seen from southeast Mexico through Central and South America. They are smaller in size and weigh around 40-45 lbs. They are also found in Brazil, Argentina, and Paraguay. They are reddish brown in color and have short legs.

Biologists initially recorded only four species of brocket deer on the continent, but recent studies have shown that there might be up to 23 different species living around the continent today. There are several opportunities for keen-eyed visitors to catch a glimpse of these elusive animals in national parks, reserves, and cultural sites throughout the world. Despite the fact that some species are more commonly seen than others, still many of them need to be identified today. 

 5- Hog Deer

Hog Deer

Last on my list of small deer species in the world is hog deer. A hog deer has a unique name and an equally unique look. With its stocky form and short legs, it looks like a pig – usually seen alone steeping through grassy floodplains. They have a long life span and can live up to 15 years, and weigh around 66 lbs. They can grow up to 4 feet high. They are commonly found in south Asian countries. You can commonly found them in Pakistan, India, Nepal, and Bangladesh.

Hog deer are usually solitary animals, but they can sometimes be seen in small herds in open terrain. They also live in small families. In areas where hunting is excessive, Hog deer becomes nocturnal. They are active at dawn and dusk. They stay in the same area and don’t migrate much, and when threatened, they disperse quickly and hide in dense vegetation. Despite their natural shyness, however, massive population losses have been seen throughout the range of the species as a result of hunting.

What is the Smallest Deer in North America?

Key deer are the smallest deer in North America, and the National Key Deer Refuge is one of the best places to see them. Key deer are subspecies of whitetail deer and are light reddish brown in color. They weigh around 70 pounds and stand tall about 32 inches in height. It nearly went extinct when it was listed in the Endangered Species Act in 1967. But now, after great efforts, thankfully, they have started to spread in numbers once again. 

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