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Animals

Kidadl Team

AUGUST 05, 2021

Tufted Deer: 15 Facts You Won’t Believe!

Tufted deer facts on reproduction and birth intrigue us.

The tufted deer (Elaphodus cephalophus) is a species found on the East Asian continent, native to central China and Northeastern Myanmar. It is a small deer that earned its name from the tuft of hair on its forehead. One of the defining characteristics of the tufted deer is its fang-like canines, exclusive to the males, which offer this species of deer a pre-historic appearance that is similar to the Muntjac species. These protruding teeth, or fangs, are mainly used by territorial males when they fight among themselves over breeding partners or territory. These shy animals are dark brown in color with a white underside on their tails and bodies. They are mainly active in darkness as it helps them to camouflage better among their surroundings. Their primary habitat is tropical moist forests, temperate broadleaf forests, and mixed forests. They are herbivorous in nature, mainly feeding on leaves, twigs, and fruits. When chased, a tufted deer runs in a wild sort of pattern, revealing their white-colored tail with every jump, and flopping down after their run, making it hard for the predator to catch them. No exact population of tufted deer is available and they are classified as Near Threatened on the IUCN Red List. The gestation period of tufted deer is six months and the females give birth to fawns in early summer. To know more facts about the habitat, reproduction, hair, tail, bark, and other features of tufted deer, read the article below.

If you like reading this article, we suggest you check out our similar ones on reindeer and deer.

Tufted Deer Interesting Facts

What type of animal are tufted deer?

Tufted deers are a species of near-extinct small brown deer with fangs that are native to China and Myanmar.

What class of animal do a tufted deer belong to?

The tufted deer belongs to the Mammalia class in the Animalia kingdom.

How many tufted deer are there in the world?

No proper estimate is available regarding the total population of tufted deer. There is an assumption that in 1998 the population of tufted deers in China was between 300,000 and 500,000 individuals.

Where does a tufted deer live?

Tufted deers are mainly found in tropical moist forests, temperate broadleaf forests, and mixed forests. They populate high, moist forests near the tree line in evergreen and deciduous forests with extensive understory and close to freshwater supply. These species of deer also seek the availability of salt licks near their habitat.

What is a tufted deer habitat?

Tufted deer lives in the south and southeast of China, across eastern Tibet, and northern Myanmar.

Who do tufted deer live with?

Tufted deers are not very social and are mainly found to live in solitude. They are seldomly seen in bonded pairs, this only really seen during the mating season.

How long does a tufted deer live?

A tufted deer has a life span of up to 12 years, although their longevity in the wild is not well documented as they are yet to be studied extensively.

How do they reproduce?

The tufted deer is polygynous in nature. The male tufted deer mate with numerous female tufted deer during the mating season, which starts in September and continues until December. The male deer bark in order to attract the females and the gestation period lasts for about six months (180 days). The young are usually born in early summer and are taken care of by their mother until they are independent at the age of six months. Tufted deer become sexually mature between the ages of one and a half to two years.

What is their conservation status?

There is no proper estimate available regarding the total population of tufted deer (Elaphodus cephalophus). The IUCN Red List classifies the animal as Near Threatened (NT) as their population is decreasing due to illegal poaching and their habitat destruction because of agriculture and logging.

Tufted Deer Fun Facts

What do tufted deer look like?

Tufted deer facts make us happy.

Tufted deer (Elaphodus cephalophus) are small deer distinctly identified by the tuft of hair on their forehead. They have a dark chocolate brown coloration on the upper parts of their body and a white underside. The neck and head are gray in color, while the tips of their ears and lips are white. The underside of their tail is also white and can be spotted when the deer is running, holding their tail up. The male deer have small antlers that are mostly covered by the tuft of black hair on their forehead. These antlers grow from short bony pedicles and are simple and spiked.

The tufted deer is 43.2-63.6 in (109.7-161.5 cm) in length, with the males being slightly bigger than the females. They have tails that are 2.8-6.4 in (7-16 cm) in length. Tufted deer fawns, born in early summer, have similar coloration to that of an adult tufted deer. However, the younglings have two lateral rows of spots on their back. The spots tend to disappear when the fawns get matured.

Apart from the tuft of black hair, another most distinct feature of these species is the fang-like canines that the male species use while fighting with each other. These sharp protruding canines give them a vampire-like appearance.

How cute are they?

The young deer are very cute, but the adult male species have vampire-like fangs which lend them quite a scary look.

How do they communicate?

Tufted deer mainly use vocalizations to communicate among themselves. They bark when scared, which also warns others of their group. Barking is also done by the males during the breeding season to attract females. They are fiercely territorial and hardly move far from their home territory. The males are known to battle over mating partners and territory, and their foremost weapons are their protruding fangs. They are also known to use their antlers while fighting but are not as lethal as their canines.

How big are a tufted deer?

The tufted deer is 43.2-63.6 in (109.7-161.5 cm) in length and has a shoulder height of 19.2-27.6 in (48.7-70.1 cm). The males are slightly bigger than the females.

How fast can a tufted deer run?

A tufted deer can run at a great speed of 43.4 mph (70 kph).  

How much does a tufted deer weigh?

The tufted deer has an average weight of 37-66 lb (17-30 kg).

What are their male and female names of the species?

The male tufted deer species is called a buck, bull, or stag, and the female tufted deer species is called a doe, hind, or cow.

What would you call a baby tufted deer?

Baby tufted deer are called fawns or asses.  

What do they eat?

Tufted deer eat leaves, fruits, twigs, grasses, and other kinds of plants. They are both grazers and browsers. These animals tear off plants to eat by using their lower incisors.

Are they dangerous?

Tufted deer are very shy animals and are known to be alerted very easily. These species of deer have sharp fangs that can be potentially lethal when attacking, but they are not known to attack humans. They are also too rare to pose any threat to crops.

Would they make a good pet?

Tufted deer are not social animals and hence are not a good choice for pets. It is also illegal to own these animals in many countries due to their near-threatened conservation status.  

Did you know...

Tufted deer are crepuscular; they are shy during the day and more active in the dark, during the evening and night.

Tufted deer have the nickname 'vampire Bambi' owing to the fangs.

Tufted deer are the only surviving member of the genus Elaphodus and even its population is dwindling due to illegal poaching and over-hunting.

A group of tufted deer is called a herd.

What are tufted deer predators?

The main predators of tufted deer are leopards and dholes. They are also poached by humans worldwide. The annual kill by humans is estimated to be about 100,000.

How do tufted deer use their fangs?

Tufted deer (Elaphodus cephalophus) lack upper incisors, but they are compensated by their upper canines that are long and look like tusks. The large teeth or fangs of males play a significant role in conflict resolution during the breeding season. Males fight over mates and territory. Normally, two males come up against one another and start to push each other with their tiny antlers. When one of them loses his balance and falls, the other deer pounces with its fangs bared. As a result, the deer that is more strong ordinarily walks away victorious.

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 harbor porpoise and the rock hyrax.

You can even occupy yourself at home by coloring in one of our free printable Easter duck coloring pages.

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