Are you interested in learning about animals? Keep on reading to know about an animal that can be found in almost every continent, deer. The name 'deer' arrives from the family name 'Cervidae'. The family of deer is quite large. It has about 50 species including reindeer, white-tailed deer, elk, red deer, mule deer, and moose among others. Deer are herbivores that belong to the family of Cervidae. Initially, deer were only found in countries such as Northern Africa, Europe, Asia, North America, and South America; but later on, they were found in other countries as well. Although deer are found in forests mostly, they can live in different habitats, from mountains to rainforests to even warm plains.
One important characteristic that distinguishes deer from other animals is their antlers. Antlers originate from the head. Although antlers look like horns, they do not have keratin. They grow antlers annually. Their body is structured in such a way so as to simplify their life in forests and woodlands. Sturdy legs and flexible bodies help them survive in such extreme environments, especially among wild animals. To know more about black-tailed deer facts, white-tailed deer facts, and more, keep on reading.
Deer is a type of ruminant mammal that forms the family of Cervidae.
Deer belongs to the class of Mammalia.
The number of deer present in this world is about 30 million. However, the population of deer is decreasing due to illegal hunting and predators.
Deer can live in the woods, wetlands, and even in the mountains of all continents except Australia and Antarctica
The habitat of deer is not specific, as they adapt to whichever environment they live in. However, they are best suited in forests as they get everything there. Most deer in the world are found in seasonal or tropical dry forests, mixed temperate deciduous forests, savannahs, and mixed mountain coniferous forests.
A deer is a social animal, therefore, they live in small groups. Usually, a male herd looks after the female herds. It can have up to 100,000 deer.
Deer can live up to 10-25 years of age, depending on the species.
Male deer reach the maturity stage by their fifth year. At the time of mating, male dominance is established by the size of their body and antlers. The gestation period lasts about 200 days. Female deer can give birth to one or two young deer. Baby deer is called a fawn. It is one of the most important baby deer facts that they develop the ability to stand and walk minutes after being born but still, live with their mothers for 1-2 years.
The conservation status of white-tailed deer, and mule deer are Least Concern as mentioned in the International Union for Conservation of Nature or IUCN Red List. However, the population of deer is decreasing at an alarming rate. Hunters and predators are the main reason for this decrease. Species like hog deer are considered to be endangered and chinanteco deer, bawean deer are considered Critically Endangered.
Deer have about 50 species, and each one of them has distinguished characteristics. However, one thing that brings them all together is their antlers. These antlers are grown from the head but are different from horns. The sizes of their body vary, but they have firm legs, and flexible bodies to protect themselves from wild animals in the forests. They have eyes on both sides of their heads, which gives them a wider vision. They have a great vision at night which is extremely important to save themselves and also during their feeding times. Besides great vision, they also have amazing hearing senses. A deer can move its ear without moving their heads. They keep their noses moist to pick up the smell of predators from far. In temperate climatic areas, their antlers have velvety skin with nerves. The color for different species is different.
Deer are very cute to look at. Their eyes, ears, and antlers add to their cuteness.
Although, deer are extremely quiet animals; they grunt and snort as part of their verbal communication. Male deer often call out the females using verbal methods. The female deer also respond back to them. They also use body language to communicate. They have a specific type of posture for every mood, for instance: on hearing a sound that is threatening they raise their tail. Another important element they use to communicate is their sense of smell. A deer has scent glands on the hooves and in front of its eyes. This smell is unique, and every time they rub themselves against a tree or another deer, their body gives off a particular type of smell. This smell determines the social status, sex, and physical condition of deer.
The size for every species of deer is different. However, Reindeer, which is one of the most popular species of the deer family, are about 78in long, and 33 - 60in tall. Whereas a white-tailed deer is 37 - 86in long, and 20-48in tall which is almost four times bigger than an average cat.
Deer are extremely fast, especially because of the environment they live in. A Reindeer can run about 49 mph, whereas a White-tailed deer can run for 29 mph. Another important species of deer found mostly in North America is Mule deer can run for about 45 mph.
Different deer species have different weights. A reindeer weighs about 396.82 lb (180 kg) and mule deer is about 121 - 330 lb (55-150 kg). For white-tailed deer, the weight is different for both males and females. Female deer are of about 99.20 lb (45 kg), whereas males weigh around 149 lb (68 kg).
There are about 50 species of deer, and all of them have different names. However, a male deer is called a buck or a stag, whereas the female one is called a hind or a doe.
A baby deer is called a fawn. Although, they are sometimes referred to as kids or calves.
A deer is an herbivore, so they do not prey on other animals. They eat grass, fruits, and plants. They are not picky when it comes to their food and can survive on whatever green is available to them.
Deer can be dangerous, no matter how calm they look. Although, they do not attack humans or animals of any kind unless threatened.
Only one species of deer is said to be domesticated, that is reindeer. Besides that, they are said to be dangerous as pets, which is why a lot of states and countries have restrictions. They can be aggressive and attack using their antlers. Certain diseases like chronic wasting disease and bovine tuberculosis can also increase. It is unfair to confine them inside the narrow boundaries of your home when they naturally prefer forests.
Kidadl Advisory: All pets should only be bought from a reputable source. It is recommended that as a potential pet owner you carry out your own research prior to deciding on your pet of choice. Being a pet owner is very rewarding but it also involves commitment, time and money. Ensure that your pet choice complies with the legislation in your state and/or country. You must never take animals from the wild or disturb their habitat. Please check that the pet you are considering buying is not an endangered species, or listed on the CITES list, and has not been taken from the wild for the pet trade.
The Chinese water deer is the only deer that does not shed its antlers because it does not have them. Instead, the Chinese water deer uses its teeth to show off and impress their females.
The tissues that grow antlers are the fastest tissues on the planet.
Like many humans, deer are red-green color blind.
Deer can camouflage themselves quite well. They use this quality to hide and protect themselves from predators.
There are more than 50 species of deer. Among them, a white-tailed deer who is mostly found in areas along streams and rivers, farms, forests, mixed woodlands, and burned shrub fields are some of the most popular species. Other species like mule deer, reindeer, hog deer, Chinanteco deer, Bawean deer, Persian fallow deer, and Calamian deer are also common.
Here are a few simple steps a kid can follow to draw a deer:
Start with the body. Make them slim and curvy towards the belly.
Make sure you add white spots towards the bottom of their body.
As soon as you are done with the body, start drawing the legs. Their legs are thin but strong and firm.
Their face looks similar to a dog, make it a little sharp.
The eyes are supposed to be on both sides of the head, and the nose should be shining.
Now, the most important and distinct feature is the deer antlers. Draw them similar to a tree branch, with twigs coming out. And you are done.
Here at Kidadl, we have carefully created lots of interesting family-friendly animal facts for everyone to discover! Learn more about some other mammals including the plains zebra and Highland cattle.
You can even occupy yourself at home by drawing one on our deer coloring pages.