Deer are common animals that can be seen all over the world. You may have even seen a deer in your own backyard! There are over 100 different types of deer in the deer family. Let’s learn about a few of them!
Moose are the biggest of all the different types of deer. They live in places where there is snow cover at least part of the year. Moose are adapted to survive in colder temperatures and do not like hot summers. To help them survive in their snowy climates moose have wide hooves that act like snowshoes to help them stay above the snow. Moose also have legs that are longer in the front in than in the back. This body shape helps moose jump over objects like fallen trees that may be in their path.
Moose like to live in swampy environments and eat twigs and other foliage. Bear and wolves hunt moose, so moose can be very aggressive to protect themselves. If you see a moose in the wild, be sure to give it plenty of space and admire it from a distance.
Mule deer live all through the western United States. They can live in dry climates and in the mountains. They are called mule deer because they have large ears that look like mule ears. Like all deer, mule deer have antlers. They shed or loose their antlers each year and grow a new set in the spring. Mule deer do not have any teeth on the top of their mouth, only a hard plate. This plate helps them grind up all the different kinds of vegetation that mule deer eat.
White-tailed deer are the most common deer in the United States. They live throughout the United States and Canada. You can often find them near farms, along edges of forest and even in urban areas. These are the type of deer you may have seen around your neighborhood. White-tailed deer get their name from the bottom side of their tail. When they feel scared or sense danger they lift their tail and the white can be seen as they bound away. These deer can run up to 30 miles per hour. They can often outrun predators. They are also excellent swimmers and can swim across large lakes or rivers to escape predators. Baby deer are called fawns. They are covered with white spots so they can blend in with the forest floor. As the baby grows it looses its spots.
Pudus are the smallest animal in the deer family. They are about the size of a small dog, weighing only 15 pounds. Pudus live in South American in Chile and Argentina. Like all deer they have antlers, but their antlers look more like two spikes on the tops of their heads. Because pudus are small, they have many predators. Dogs are one of the most common predators and are causing pudu populations, that means the amount of living pudus, to drop.
The water deer lives in China and Korea. They can also be found in England because they escaped from captivity. Captivity means people were caring for the animals as pets or in park like a zoo. Water deer are unique because instead of antlers boy water deer have two tusks, between 3 and 4 inches long, that shoot down from the top of their mouths. The tusks look a little like fangs. They use their tusks to defend their territory from other boy water deer and to protect themselves from predators.
Like many deer, water deer are active during the morning and evening. They often search for food and eat during this time. The rest of the time they take cover in thick foliage or undergrowth in the woods.
Deer All Over the World
Deer can be found all over the world. Some are very big and some are very small. They all have special adaptations to survive well in their habitats. What kind of deer have you seen? What kind of habitat did you find it in?
Thanks for running with me, Jungle Jim, to learn more about the world’s deer!