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Spotted Nothura is a grassland tinamou with a large range that extends from central Argentina north through Uruguay and Paraguay to northeastern Brazil. Overall this small tinamou is cryptically patterned with brown and black mottling on a pale brownish base color, which provides camouflage in terrestrial grassland situations. The species looks quite similar to the closely related Chaco Nothura (Nothura chacoensis) of northern Paraguay and Argentina, but Spotted Nothura is darker overall. Eight subspecies of Spotted Nothura are recognized, which may form a cline from smaller, darker birds in the north to larger, paler birds in the south.