What is Deer?

A deer is a mammalian animal that is part of the group of ruminants. It usually has a height of about 1.30 meters and can weigh up to 200 kilograms, although its characteristics vary according to each subspecies.

It is possible to find deer in various parts of the world, among which are the European, American, Asian and African continents. On the other hand, they also have habitats in certain arctic areas. In Australia and New Zealand, on the other hand, it arrived artificially, carried by humans.

While many different animals are referred to by the same name in everyday speech, the deer family is very broad. The publication Species of mammals of the world (originally published in English under the title Mammal Species of the World) ensures that we can distinguish three subfamilies, which are divided into twenty genera and forty-eight species.

As if these numbers were not impressive enough, we must also take into account a few subfamilies and extinct genera, such as the Capreolinae subfamily with its genera Alces, Blastocerus, Capreolus, Hippocamelus and Mazama.

The Cervus elaphus is the animal known by the name of common deer or deer. Their hair is short and reddish or gray in color, although lighter on the buttocks and on the belly. Males, which are larger than females, have antlers that fall off and grow back every year.

Deer, which are indomesticable, are usually hunted by humans to take advantage of their meat, their skin and even their antlers. Tigers, leopards, cougars, bears and wolves are other predators of this herbivorous animal.

Regarding their social organization, deer establish herds according to their size and age, in addition to being divided between males and females. The males usually move solitary or in small groups, while the females form herds of several dozen specimens, where the youngest individuals are also found.

Although these are the most common organizations of deer groups, they do not occur in all cases; For example, musk deer, which belong to the mosquito family, spend their lives in pairs. Mósquids are artiodactyl mammals, an order with limbs that have an even number of fingers, of which they support at least two, the most developed.

In the heat period, males approach groups of females and fight each other to prevail and gain control. The victorious male deer therefore leads the female herd for the duration of the rutting season and then walks away.

The gestation of the deer extends for a period that can last between 160 days and 10 months, according to the particular species; per year, they usually give birth to a maximum of two young, which are called gabatos or fawns. With regard to their diet, deer prefer branches, plant shoots and leaves.

Almost all deer have a gland in the vicinity of their eyes that has pheromones, that is, chemicals that they can secrete to make other individuals of their species behave in a certain way. In this specific case, males use their pheromones to express their dislike when around other males.

It is important not to be confused between deer (written with initial C) and servant (with S). When the term begins with S (servant), it refers to an individual who is enslaved and is in the service of a lord.