Other Free Encyclopedias » 21st Century Webster's Family Encyclopedia » 21st Century Webster's Family Encyclopedia - Davis, Henry Gassaway to Diamond


american antlers chinese species

Deer, any of about 40 species of cloven-hoofed mammals of the family Cervidae, found in Europe, Asia, and the Americas. Their most remarkable characteristic is the antlers of the males. Only the musk deer and the Chinese water deer lack antlers, while both sexes of the caribou and the reindeer are antlered. The smallest deer is the South American pudu, 13 in (33 cm) at the shoulder; the largest is the North American moose, up to 7 ft (2.1 m) and over 1000 lb (454 km) in weight. Though many species are abundant, some, such as the axis deer of India and Sri Lanka, are fast becoming rare. The Chinese Pere David's deer survives mainly in zoos but is gradually being re-introduced to the wild in preserves.

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