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Animal Detail ViewՄանրամասն` նրանց մասին

05.02.2014

Père David's deer (Elaphurus davidianus)


Scientific classification

Kingdom: Animalia

Phylum: Chordata

Class: Mammalia

Order: Artiodactyla

Family: Cervidae

Subfamily: Cervinae

Genus: Elaphurus

Species: E. davidianus

 

Description 

The adult Père David's deer reaches a head-and-body length of up to 1.9–2.2 meters and stands about 1.2 meters tall at the shoulder. The tail is relatively long for a deer, measuring 50–66 centimeters when straightened. Weight is between 135 and 200 kilograms. The head is long and slender with large eyes, very large preorbital glands, a naked nose pad and small, pointed ears.

The branched antlers are unique in that the long tines point backward, while the main beam extends almost directly upward. There may be two pairs per year. The summer antlers are the larger set, and are dropped in November, after the summer rut. The second set—if they appear—are fully grown by January, and fall off a few weeks later.

The coat is reddish tan in the summer, changing to a dull gray in the winter. Long wavy guard hairs are present on the outer coat throughout the year, with the coat becoming woollier in winter. There is a mane on the neck and throat and a black dorsal stripe running along the cervicothoracic spine. The tail is about 50 cm in length, with a dark tuft at the end. The hooves are large and spreading, and make clicking sounds when the animal is moving.

Range and Habitat

Historically, Père David's deers were probably found in the lowlands of China, swampy areas and reed-covered marshlands. Today they survive in the wild in two national parks: Beijing Milu Park and the Dafeng Milu Natural Reserve. This species can also be found in captivity in many zoos around the world.

Behavior

Unlike many deer species, Pere David's Deer is very fond of water. They will wade up to their shoulders in the water and will also swim. These herding animals are very social. They live in large groups except prior to and following mating when males will leave the group. Females remain in social groups throughout the year.

Diet

A semi aquatic animal, Père David's deer swims well, spending long periods standing in water up to its shoulders. Although predominantly a grazer, the deer supplements its grass diet with aquatic plants in the summer.

Reproduction

About two months before breeding season in June, males will leave the herd. They will rejoin a harem of females and fast during the rut. When fighting, males will use antlers, teeth, and will even rise up on hind legs and box with their front legs. The gestation period is about 280 days and one or two fawns are born in April or May. Fawns weigh about 11 kg at birth. After the rut, males will leave the herd again for another two months and begin feeding.

Sexual maturity for females is about 2 years and 3 months, and males mature about a year later.

Conservation Status

Listed as “Extinct in the Wild” in the IUCN Red List of Threatened Species

 



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