Today at Light Future Art, we’re going to share some fun facts about deer from all over the world, from the very smallest deer to some you might not think would appear on this list at all.
1. The mouse deer is the smallest species of deer in the world. None weigh more than 40 pounds.
2. The water deer is the only species of deer that doesn’t have antlers. Instead, they have fangs. There are two subspecies, the Chinese water deer and the Korean water deer. They are also known colloquially as “vampire deer”. Due to their somewhat loose placement on the jaw, water deer can actually move their fangs as need be, usually drawing them backward to eat.
3. Deer have similarities to other mammals in their calls of distress. A study in Canada found that mother deer responded to the cries of other young mammals such as cats and dogs.
4. Because cetaceans (whales, porpoises) are most likely evolved from prehistoric artiodactyls (even-toed ungulates such as bison and giraffes), they too are classified as ungulates, despite not having hooves.
5. Modern deer probably evolved from a common ancestor as horned ungulates, like antelopes. Antlers are not true horns because they aren’t made from keratin.
6. The name Oscar actually comes from two Irish words: “Os” meaning deer and “cara” meaning friend. If you name your child Oscar, you’re calling them a friend of the deer.
7. Due to the placement of deer’s eyes on their heads, they can see 310 degrees around. Unfortunately, it’s extremely difficult for them to focus on one place for long, but they have excellent night vision.
8. While fawns can walk almost immediately after being born, they aren’t strong enough to be out in the open until they are about a week old. Up until that point, the mother keeps her babies hidden in bushes or grasses.
9. The word deer is derived from several old Germanic languages, such as Old English, Old German, or Norse. “Dyr”, “deor”, or “tior” in these languages simply means “animal”. This goes to show just how significant the deer has been to humans throughout history.
10. Antlers are the fastest growing tissue of any type we know of. Antlers are made of bone and grow from the ends rather than the base, like horns. Some species of deer have antlers that grow more than an inch per week.
Did any of these facts surprise you? Let us know in the comments down below.
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