Read on and enjoy a variety of interesting information about deer.
Deer are the only animals that have antlers. They are the fastest growing living tissue on earth. Antlers are usually only found on males. In some species, like caribou, you will also find them on females. Moose have the largest antlers. Antlers grow from spring until fall. While growing, antlers are covered with a soft tissue known as velvet. This tissue contains a network of nerves and blood vessels and is very sensitive. In the fall, the velvet is shed and the antlers harden. In the winter, the antlers are shed. Antlers should not be confused with horns. Horns are never shed and continue to grow throughout the animal’s life. If they are broken, they won’t grow back.
Deer have a great sense of hearing. They have a lot of muscles attached to their ears which allow them to turn their ears in any direction, without moving their heads. They can hear higher frequencies of sound than humans.
The brown coat of the deer provides great camouflage in the woodlands. By standing still, they can go undetected by a passing predator. Fawns have a reddish-brown color covered with white spots, which help camouflage them and disappear when they are 3-4 months old. In the fall, deer will shed their summer coat and receive a much thicker winter coat.
Deer have their eyes on the sides of their head, giving them a 310 degree view. This wide view does make it hard for deer to focus on a single point. Deer have a good night vision, which is useful in the early morning and near dusk – animal facts
Deer have small teeth in the front of the bottom jaw, which they use for tearing and breaking apart food. They have no teeth in the front of the top jaw. Instead they have a hard palate, which is used in much the same way as teeth. In the back of the mouth deer have molars, canines and incisors, which are used for chewing.
Deer are ungulates, which means that they have two-toed hoofs. They have long legs with powerful muscles and are able to run 40 miles per hour and jump 10 feet high. They are also fast swimmers.
Deer have an excellent sense of smell, which allows them to detect predators from a long distance away. Deer lick their nose to keep it moist, which helps odor particles stick to it, improving their sense of smell. The nose also plays a role in communication. Deer produce scents with glands located on their head, legs and hooves. These scents provide information to other deer about their gender, social status, physical condition and whether an area is safe.
Deer usually stay in the same area called a home range. These areas are shared by related females who form matriarchies and that exclude adult males.
The breeding season for deer occurs between October and January. This period is called the “rut”. During the “rut” the necks of the male deer will swell to more than double their normal diameter and their antlers will have lost their velvet. This will prepare them for fights with other buck to determine dominance and breeding rights. They will crash antlers, but usually don’t get hurt. During this period, males are very nervous and constantly active, which can cause them to wander into places where you would normally not find them, like residential areas. Gestation is about 200 days and in the spring the female will give birth to one to three fawns. Do you want to check out our long and rich source of tigers facts in your spare time?
Fawns are protected by a lack of scent. Enemies cannot smell them. Fawns are able to stand and walk shortly after birth. The mother keeps them hidden in bushes and checks up on them about 6 times a day to feed them. Young deer stay with their mothers for 1-2 years.
When deer feel threatened, they will raise their tail to warn other deer.
Bucks mark their territory by making scrapes on the land with their hooves and by removing bark from trees with their antlers, called a “buck rub”.
Deer are herbivores. They eat grass, leaves, stems, shoots, berries, herbs, acorns, mushrooms, wild fruit and agriculture crops like corn and soy beans.
Deer are ruminants (cud chewers) and have a four-chambered stomach. Other ruminants include cattle, goats and antelope. Deer start eating in the morning. They hardly chew their food which goes into the first stomach. While they rest, the food will move to the second stomach and form little balls. Now the food is brought back to the mouth and chewed.
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