Deer - description, habitat, lifestyle

The deer is a noble, beautiful and majestic fast-footed animal. But in the minds of many, this beast is associated with jokes and jokes walking in everyday life - a man who has been cheated on his wife is compared to a deer. Although some (for example, Indian) tribes, this beast is sacred. Indians believe that the hunter who met a deer in the forest often will always and in all be successful.


Deer are parttidae mammals, the family of deer (deer). There are 51 species in total. Previously, the ancestors of the Slavs called this beast differently - "Helen", because the name is used now.

The sizes of animals are different, they depend on the species. Suppose a reindeer can reach one and a half meters, although the minimum height is only 80 centimeters, the body is stretched to two meters, and the weight reaches two hundred kilograms. A small crested fully corresponds to the name - the length of this deer does not exceed a meter, and its weight is only 50 kilograms.

The color of deer eyes is yellow with hazel, and deep tear grooves are coming from them. Some deer have very thin and graceful legs, others are content with short ones. But in all species they are strong with well-developed leg muscles. After all, legs help the deer to survive. So, they run away from danger rather quickly - the speed can reach more than 50 kilometers per hour. The vast majority of species are wool - it is thin, when the yard is the warm season, and thick in the winter. The color varies from the place where the beast lives - it can be dark brown, golden red or gray.

A knowledgeable specialist can make the animal’s teeth without any special effort, and using only knowledge, it is easy to determine how old the beast is, looking at how worn and worn teeth are.


Of course, the most conspicuous part of a deer that adorns the head of an animal is the horns. They adorn the head of all (except the hornless) animal species, and they grow exclusively in males. Only one species of head of females adorn the horns, and this species is called the reindeer. But these ladies' horns are very small and not as branched as those of males.

Interestingly, almost all species at least once a year completely change the horns. Old ones are dumped, and instead of them a shift begins to sprout. What are deer antlers? These are ordinary cartilages, around which bone tissue gradually grows. And the growth of these cartilages is very dependent on the diet of the animal. The better and more he eats, the sooner the horns grow.

For animals living in the tropical and subtropical zones, the horns are dropped very rarely or not at all. With this tool, the beast is able to defend and attack. And he does not attack enemies, just during the period when marriage games are played, you have to fight with your relatives because of the samochka you like. But among the animals living in the north, horns serve as a tool by which they dig snow, trying to get food from under the snow flooring in the form of a favorite lichen called moss. Horns reach rather big sizes - the range can be up to 120 centimeters.

Deer live around the world - this is due to their unpretentiousness to the conditions where they have to live. They are in the European and Asian territories, tearing snow in the northern regions of Russia, live well in both American continents, in hot Africa. Their populations are even in distant Australian and New Zealand lands. In any locality, these animals are very good - both among the plains, and if there are mountain ranges and ravines around, and near marshy swamps, and in the north in the tundra among moss and moss, they are comfortable. Many species of deer prefer places with excessive humidity, choosing areas near water bodies.


The diet of a deer consists entirely of plant food sprouting in habitats. In the spring and the beginning of the summer period, he eats cereal plants, legumes, umbrella plants. In the summer, nuts, all kinds of berries, mushrooms, and vegetable seeds are added to this. While it is warm, it feeds on buds, foliage, gnaws on shoots and branches of trees and small bushes growing alongside it. With pleasure eats fruit. In the winter, it bites the bark completely from the trees, eats needles, chews branches, finds fallen acorns under snow and lichens. In order to replenish the body with mineral salts, the animals visit the salt licks, they eat the earth. The lack of protein is compensated by eating bird eggs or biting their horns, fallen from the head.


Deer are nomadic animals, holding small herds of 10-30 heads. In the summertime, the animals go as deep as possible into the forest, where a lot of trees, along with a lot of grass, make it easy to feed themselves. With the onset of winter, they go into dense forest undergrowth, because there is little snow cover and you can find some food under it.

How long does a deer live?

In natural conditions, the deer lives 18-22 years. If the animal is in a zoo or in a special farm for breeding deer, the life span is increased by a good ten years.

The enemies

In nature, bears and wolves are the most dangerous. The deer is saved from them only thanks to strong legs. However, the flight does not always help - wolves, huddled together in a pack, can drive the beast. Especially if he is already old or sick. Oddly enough, one of the enemies is a man who can kill this beautiful beast for its chic horns.

What is the difference between deer and elk

Elks are fairly close relatives of deer, have some similarities, but differ from each other in the following:

  1. The main difference is the shape of the horns. Elk grows horizontally against the ground and branch out with small blades. Deer antlers are constantly directed towards the sky.
  2. The elk is a very large animal, more massive than a deer. The mass of moose reaches 650 kilograms, and the record holder among deer weighs only 350 kilograms.
  3. You can distinguish the legs - the deer has paws shorter and thicker.
  4. And finally, moose - do not want to be in the herd. Lonely lives alone or live in pairs - the male with his female.

What is the difference between deer and roe deer?

  1. The deer is famous for its horns, which are strongly branched; the roe deer does not.
  2. The diet of these animals is the same, but roe deer does without tree bark. Deer gnaws it with pleasure.
  3. Children feed up differently: roe deer during feeding lie, deer stands.


Deer lead a greedy harem lifestyle, although single individuals come across, searching for a pair only during the rut. Polygamous animals, at the head of the herd is a male mating with several females. He also stands up to protect their females when competing males begin to encroach on them.

Most deer rut starts in mid-autumn and lasts until December. Deer roar is heard for many kilometers. Often males, like true knights, fight for their lady - they face horns, trying to drop the enemy on the ground. Wins, as in any fight, the strongest, and the weak retreats. Young males, who have not yet acquired horns, are not participating in these battles, but are attempting to penetrate someone's harem.

Males become sexually mature by about three years, females a little earlier - in 2 years. Pregnant deer runs from 6 to 9 months (depending on the species). When it comes time to give birth, the female tries to retire to a secluded place. As a rule, only one deer is born, although there are cases that it turns out twins. At birth, babies are covered with frequent spots that protect against predators and enemies.

Small deer can stand on their feet from the very first minutes. The mother feeds him with milk for a long time - almost a year, although after a month the cub is able to pinch grass. In the second year, young deer acquire knobs on the crown - harbingers of future chic horns.

What types are

There are many species of deer in the wild. Here are some of them of great interest.

Noble deer
The most beautiful inhabitant of this family, proportionally complex, slim build. You can distinguish by a bright spot under the tail, characteristic of this species. On the horns of a large number of branches, especially at the tips. There are a total of 15 subspecies, differing in size. For example, a small Bukhara deer has a mass of about one hundred kilograms and 190 centimeters in length, another subspecies, the red deer, weighs as much as 300 kilograms, while the length is only 160 centimeters.

Habitat of red deer is large: European countries, Scandinavia, China, northern Africa, Australia, both American continents.

Another name is caribou. Inhabits the north of Eurasia, in the tundra. This species of horn has not only males, but also females. They serve to clear the snow and get food and moss. This species is the only one who eats meat, or rather, small rodents by lemmings living there. The body has a length of about two meters, weight - within 200 kilograms.

Water deer
His fame is that he does not wear horns. Among the largest family, the smallest one is about one meter long, weighing 9-14 kilograms. Lives in Chinese and Korean forests. It floats superbly, able to swim by swimming over many kilometers.

White Sea Deer
Its name was due to painted in white face and a piece of the head. The length of the beast is 2.3 meters, the mass is about 200 kilograms. This species lives in the mountainous regions of Tibet, as well as in China.

Whitetail Deer
The Virginian deer also has the name, the habitat is the North American continent (the USA and the south of Canada). Reach 1 meter in height and weigh about 150 kilograms. A distinctive feature is the white tail.

Pork deer
This funny name is because the manner of movement resembles the gait of a pig. Boasts a fluffy beautiful tail. Females differ from males in a lighter color.

They live in the plains of Pakistan, Burma and other South Asian states. Representatives of this type of person imported to Canada, the United States of America and the land of Australia. They live one by one, herds are rarely created. They lead nightlife, in the daytime they rest in the shade of bushes.

Crested deer
Judging by the name, wears tuft growing from the frontal part. The horns are very short and practically do not branch. Habitat is located in the south and southeast of the Asian region.

South deer
A chunky mountain resident, short legs seem to be specially designed for walking on mountainous landscapes. He lives in the Andes in Argentina. Lifestyle - loners, only during the rut gather in small flocks.

Dappled deer
The body is long, about 180 centimeters, weight from 75 to 130 kilograms. The height of the animal is on average 110 centimeters. Animals are gregarious, live in small groups of 15-25 individuals. Distributed in the flat and mountainous areas of the former Soviet Union. He lives in the Far Eastern region, the mountains of the Caucasus and areas of the middle belt.

The largest of the deer
This mammal can be called the largest deer, although it is not officially considered as such. Speech about elk. Matured specimens reach an impressive 2 meters 30 centimeters high. The largest weight was registered at 655 kilograms. The body seems somewhat short - only within three meters. But the legs, equipped with wide hoofs, are long. The elk muzzle is very extended, lips are big. Both sexes are brown. The horns are a little flattened, so the animal is called "dry".

Elks live in many countries of the Northern Hemisphere, the habitat is quite wide - from tundra to steppes in the southern regions of Eurasia and North America.

For life, choose either swampy forests, or very dense impassable forest oak forests. But food is sought on the river banks or open forest edges in the middle of the forest. The moose in food is picky, eats herbs, picks berries, eats mushrooms, nibbles tree shoots.

The smallest deer
The smallest (by physical parameters) representative of the genus of the deer is the poodle deer. There are two subspecies - the northern and southern. The body is very short - only 90 centimeters long, the height does not exceed 40 centimeters, the weight is about ten kilograms, the horns are very short - no more than 10 centimeters. Wears wool brown color. Dwells in South American countries, vegetable food - eats leaves from trees and chews branches. Prefers a single lifestyle, sometimes lives in pairs.


The deer doesn’t wear such beautiful, enthralling horns for the rest of his life. For the first time such beauty grows at the age of five, and from the age of 12 the horns become weaker and the crown gets smaller. Usually, animals drop their horns in the spring from March to the end of April; young horns stiffen within three months.

Initially, deer appeared on Earth 33 million years ago, it happened where Asia is now located. After 10 million years, animals began to move, and they mastered the current Europe, from where they moved across the bridge that existed between continents to the North American continent. On the South American continent, animals appeared relatively late - only 2 million years ago.

Although the main enemies of a deer from the animal kingdom, the main thing still is man to this day. Deer hunting was too common, and a large number of animals were destroyed.

Man is very contradictory about this beautiful beast: on the one hand, rare endangered species are protected and recorded in the Red Book. On the other hand, in some places, deer is listed as a dangerous species, because in many regions deer actively feed on rare plant species, destroying them.

Untyped deer antlers (antlers) are very popular and valuable because they have strong healing properties. They make extracts on water and alcohol and produce therapeutic drugs for the treatment of hypertension and nervous diseases. And the hardened horns are used for the production of immunostimulants.

When periods of starvation do not occur, the deer organism reacts to it in a peculiar way - it slows down the processes of metabolism and slows down the heartbeat of animals. This makes it possible to save the necessary energy.

The buck, which is dominant in the herd, has, as a rule, several females, their number sometimes reaching twenty. By walking around the harem and visiting each, a deer can go without food for several days.

Watch the video: The Private Life of Deer - Amazing Nature Documentary HD (January 2020).