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Facts About Deer

Posted by Jennifer Smith on

Deer Facts and Information:

Did you know...The largest living deer is the moose. (Did you know they were even considered a ‘deer?’)

1) There are many kinds of deer located all over the world with the exception of Australia and Antarctica. Barbary Red Deer are only in Africa, while other continents share many different types of deer. There are 47 species of deer including the elk, caribou, moose and wapiti. The types of deer are often identified by their antlers, hooves, legs, bodies, neck and tail. They live among the wetlands, rain forests, grasslands and mountains.

2) Deer can be small or large in size and range from dark to light brown in color. The smallest recorded deer, called the Southern Pudu, weighs just 20 pounds and gets to be 14 inches when fully grown. The largest, now extinct for more than 11,000 years, was known as the Irish Deer. The Irish Deer was 7 feet tall from shoulder to hooves, and had an antler span of 12 feet wide! Living, the largest deer is the moose, standing at 6.5 feet tall and weighing well over 1800 pounds.

3) Deer are very social and travel in herds, led by a dominant male. Sometimes females are males will travel separately in their own herds. The female deer will stay with their young [fawn] for a gestation period of 180-240 days. Females only carry one to three babies at a time. These fawns have white spots at birth to ward away from predators.

Whitetail Deer Facts

4) Whitetails have one main stomach and three "false stomachs."

5) A deer diet consists of leaves, grass and shrubbery, as they are all vegetarians. Although they may stick their noses in trash bins, they will not eat anything outside of a vegetarian entrée.

6) The average lifespan of a deer is eleven to twelve years.

7) The Chinese Water Deer is the only type of deer that does not shed antlers.

8) Reindeer are actually caribou. (Sorry, Rudolph.)