40+ Interesting Facts About Deer
-June 11, 2022
- Deerare divided into two groups,cervinae (the Old World deer) and capreolinae (theNew World deer). Both these groups have separate foot structures.
- Maledeer of all species, except the Chinese water deer, have antlers. Bothmale and female reindeer have antlers.
- Deer antlers are thefastest-growing tissuein any mammal that grow an inch per day. In addition to fighting, deer also use antlers for digging ground in search of food. (Source)
- Deershed and re-grow antlers every year. The growth of new antlers can take up to150 days in a few species.
- Thelargest antler ever recorded belonged to the extinct Irish elk or giant deer. The male had antlers that span up to 3.6 m (11ft. 9.7 in.). This deer vanished around 11,700 years ago. Thelargest deer specieswas the broad-fronted stag moose, with height and weight up to 2.5 m (8 ft. 2 in.) and 1,200 kg. It perished at least 0.21 million years ago. (Source)
- Deergrow antlers by using a growth hormone, antler velvet. The velvet diesafter the growth of antlers, and the deer remove the velvet by rubbing it ontrees.
- Antlersare different from horns,present in several bovids. Horns are permanent thatgrow continuously.
- Muskdeer and mouse deer are not true deer. Both of these mammals are part ofdifferent families.
- Deershed their antlers after the mating season and re-grow them before the start ofthe next mating season. Males use them to fight among themselves and display themin front of females.
- Deermeat, or venison, is healthy and nutritious. It contains almost the same amountof protein but less fat than beef.
- New Zealand is thelargest producer of venison. Poland and Germany are the other top venison producers. (Source)
- More than1 million vehicle accidentsoccur in the USA yearly due to collisions with deer. These accidents result in around 200 deaths, 29,000 injuries, and a $1 billion monetary loss. (Source)
- Deerpreferforested habits. However, they are present in numerous environmentsdue to their adaptability features. They are widespread in deciduous forests, rainforests, grasslands, wetlands, mountains, and tundra. They can live comfortablynear human settlements.
- There are more than40 deer species. Some well-known species are red deer, white-tailed deer, sika deer, elk, barasingha, reindeer (caribou), and moose.
- Thelargest deeramong extant species is the Alaskan moose. The largest ever recorded was a bull with 2.34 m (7 ft. 8 in.) height and 816 kg weight. (Source)
- Deerare native to all continents except Antarctica and Australia. A few specieshave been introduced in non-native areas.
- TheBarbary stag is the only native deer species in Africa. It is a subspecies ofred deer and is present in the northern parts of Africa, especially in theAtlas Mountains.
- All deerspecies share several physical features. These include long and thinlegs, two hooves on each foot, a four-chambered stomach, and a red, brown, orgrey coat color.
Fallow deer have the largest antlers relative to body size
- Fallow deer have thelargest antlersrelative to their body size. They also have the largest antlers among Old World deer and are the only Old World deer with flat antlers.
- Thenorthern and southern pudu are the smallest deer species. The adult pudureaches a length of 12 to 17 inches. They are present in Chile and otherwestern parts of South America.
- Deerfawns have white spots on their skin that provide camouflage against predators. The absence of scent provides further protection to fawns. (Source)
- Deermolt twice a year in winter and summer. During this process, the hair coatcolor and structure change according to the weather requirement. The processcompletes in several weeks.
- Deerhave thin yet strong legs. They assist the animal in running fast, jumpinghigh, and swimming. They also use their front legs to fight in the absence ofantlers.
- Deerare selective herbivores that consume plants with high protein, low fiber, andeasy digestibility. They prefer herbs, lichens, fruits, aquatic plants, buds,young grasses, etc. The reason for this selective diet is their requirement togrow antlers that need additional energy, protein, and minerals.
- Deercan sometimes eat meat to fulfill their requirements for minerals such as calcium,phosphorus, and salt. They have been seen eating the flesh and bones of fish, livebirds, dead rabbits, and humans. (Source)
- Fewdeer species have scent glands on their legs. However, they lack glands in some areas present in other animals (anus, vulva, etc.).
- All deerspecies are without a gallbladder. Few other animals such as whales, elephants, rhinos, camels, rats, doves, and some fish also lack this organ.
- Deerhave tapetum lucidum in their eyes that enhances night vision by increasing theuse of available light. Their eyes cover a 310-degree angle compared to 180degrees in humans due to their wide position on the head. However, this wide anglereduces depth perception in vision.
- Deer can easily see colors in the blue-green electromagnetic spectrum, but cannot see various shades of red, yellow, and green. It is the reason that they are active from dusk to dawn.
- Thereare different sizes and shapes of antlers according to the species and age ofdeer. A few species have small antlers throughout their lives. Others havesmall or medium-sized antlers in childhood, and their size increases in adulthood.(Source)
- Likehumans, most deer also have 32 teeth. Some deer species have 34 teeth due to two additional upper canines.
- Deercan spread several diseases in humans. These include Q fever, salmonellosis,leptospirosis, etc. Taking safety measures can prevent the transmissionof these diseases. (Source)
- Deerinitially appeared on earth between 15 and 20 million years ago. According to estimates, New World deer emerged separately nearly 5 million years ago.
- Deervelvet antlers supplements are used for athletic performance, osteoarthritis,better sexual function, etc. Studies prove the benefit of these supplements forosteoarthritis. (Source)
- Deercan become pests in native and non-native areas due to a lack of predators. Theyhave proved harmful to the environment in the USA, Australia, and New Zealand.
- Deerskin is a valuable material due to itsdurability and softness. It is used in preparing gloves, coats, shoes, and luxury handbags.
Dearskin is soft and durable
- Deer’ssense of smell is more than 500 times better than that of humans. They use this sense to avoid predators and for communication through pheromones.
- Deerare social animals that live in herds of up to 100,000 members. A dominant maledeer leads the herd on most occasions. However, sometimes there are separateherds for males and females.
- Mostof the deer species are polygamous. However, the European roe deer and a fewothers are monogamous.
- Reindeerare the only domesticated deer species. They are beneficial as packanimals. The efforts to domesticate other species largely failed due to their wild nature.
- Accordingto IUCN, a few deer species and subspecies are endangered. These include hogdeer, Calamian deer, Persian fallow deer, and some others.
- Deercan live up to 10 years in the wild. However, their average lifespan is around five years. Deer under protection can live for 20 years or more.
- Apartfrom humans, a large number of carnivores hunt and eat deer. These includemountain lions, lynxes, wolves, coyotes, alligators, birds of prey, etc.
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