But did you know that some deer come equipped with honest-to-goodness, real-life fangs? Although you might imagine these fanged deer running around at night trying to find and stalk unsuspecting victims, the truth is a little more reassuring.
Like antlers in other deer, deer fangs are mostly used as weapons by competing males vying for territories and access to breeding females.
Most of these deer are also very tiny and only grow to about two to three feet high. This makes them a bit of a comical sight: they may look vicious in pictures, but their size is pretty underwhelming in person.
The answer lies in the distant past. When deer were first evolving, they were tiny creatures that had both fangs and antlers; it was actually their default mode. In fact, they looked pretty much like the fanged deer of today. Big deer, on the other hand, went a different route. As they grew larger, they lost their fangs and began to grow larger and larger antlers, until we arrived at the iconic deer species that we see today like moose, caribou, and elk.
This is probably a good thing, too, because most of the remaining species of fanged deer left in the world are now endangered due to poaching bacho ko mobile se nuksan habitat loss.
Musk deer in particular are heavily targeted by poachers for their musk glands, which are used in perfume and traditional Asian medicine. Thanks to plentiful plants, no natural predators, and a fast reproductive rate, these deer are now taking over the island!
There are so many deer now that they are considered a pest because they cause a ton of damage to gardens and natural areas, not to mention thousands of car accidents per year. Despite the varied success of fanged deer in the different areas of the world, one thing is certain: fanged deer are unique and are worth preserving. The next time you see a full-size deer, just imagine it with fangs! She also spent her time in Alaska racing sled dogs, and studying caribou and how well they are able to digest nutrients from their foods.
Now, she enjoys sampling fine craft beers in Fort Collins, Colorado, knitting, and helping to inspire people to learn more about wildlife, nature, and science in general. Untamed Science. Facebook Twitter Youtube. Biodiversity Vampire Deer. Choose one of the following categories to see related pages: Asian animalsEndangered Animals. Share this Page. You can follow Lindsay VanSomeren Twitter. Common Name: Vampire Deer. Classification Kingdom:. Science Newsletter:.
Full List of our Videos.They are used as weapons during fights with other bucks or predators, and often jut out far below their jawline. Across Asia, there is a wide variety of fanged deer species, like the tufted deer of Southeast China, or muntjacs, which roam India, Sri Lanka, Myanmar, Taiwan and even the Himalayan mountains. Musk deer, for example, are commonly hunted for their scent glands, which are used in perfume and traditional Asian medicine. One species, the Kashmir musk deer, was believed to be extinct until recently, when they were spotted in the wild for the first time in 60 years.
Other species, like the Chinese water deer, are vulnerable as well, despite their prevalence in the United Kingdom. They were first kept in captivity at the London Zoo inbut a group escaped in and began to populate the UK countryside. So how did these special animals end up with fangs, while other deer have antlers? But as they evolved, larger species grew larger antlers and lost their fangs, while smaller deer kept their tusks and only developed smaller antlers.
By Kristen Warfield. Share on Facebook Pin it. Share on Facebook Tweet this article Pin it Email.Musk deer can refer to any one, or all seven, of the species that make up Moschusthe only extant genus of the family Moschidae. The musk deer family differs from cervids, or true deer, by lacking antlers and facial glands and by possessing only a single pair of teatsa gallbladdera caudal glanda pair of tusk-like teeth and—of particular economic importance to humans—a musk gland.
Musk deer live mainly in forested and alpine scrub habitats in the mountains of southern Asia, notably the Himalayas. Musk deer resemble small deer, with a stocky build and hind legs longer than their front legs. The feet of musk deer are adapted for climbing in rough terrain. Like the Chinese water deera cervid, they have no antlers, but the males do have enlarged upper caninesforming sabre-like tusks.
The dental formula is similar to that of true deer: 0. The musk gland is found only in adult males.
It lies in a sac located between the genitals and the umbilicusand its secretions are most likely used to attract mates. Musk deer are herbivores, living in hilly, forested environments, generally far from human habitation. Like true deer, they eat mainly leaves, flowers, and grasses, with some mosses and lichens. They are solitary animals and maintain well-defined territories, which they scent mark with their caudal glands. Musk deer are generally shy, and either nocturnal or crepuscular.
Males leave their territories during the rutting seasonand compete for mates, using their tusks as weapons. Female musk deer give birth to a single fawn after about — days.
The newborn young are very small, and essentially motionless for the first month of their lives, a feature that helps them remain hidden from predators. Musk deer have been hunted for their scent glandswhich are commonly used in perfumes.
It is rumored that ancient royalty wore the scent of the musk deer and that it is an aphrodisiac. Musk deer are the only surviving members of Moschidaea family with a fossil record extending over 25 million years to the late Oligocene. The group was abundant across Eurasia and North America until the late Miocenebut underwent a substantial decline, with no Pliocene fossil record and Moschus the only genus since the Pleistocene.Maybe one day you wonder, so you search for deers with fangs to see if they exist.
As a matter of fact, they do. Vampire deers do exist, and there are 4 species of them that roam in the wild nowadays. Also known as Barking Deer, the muntjac deer is native to south and southeast Asia. Muntjac deer has a very unique and fascinating appearance especially their long pair of canines and antlers. Male muntjacs have small antlers that slope backwards on top of their long fur-covered base called pedicle. Their antlers are usually straight with no branching which can regrow when they break them during fights.
Speaking of fights, they tend to combat for territory using their tusks with other males.
Vampire Deers: 4 Deers With Fangs That You Might Not Know
These vampire deers inhabit deciduous or coniferous forests, preferably with a diverse understorey, as well we scrub, and overgrown urban gardens. Muntjacs are notorious browsers, and they eat shoots from shrubs, woodland herbs, and Brambles.
Just so you know, muntjacs are very brave little deer who are not afraid to attack anything that threatens them or their young. In Britain, people considered them as one of the most destructive animals pest. That is because they damage young trees and coppiced woodland, and they can even cause damage to cereal crops and orchards. There are 4 species of musk deers, and each of which has fangs or tusks protruding from their upper lips.
You can find them in mountain forests and dense forests of Asia, Russia, China, and the Korean Peninsula. Just like true deers, musk deers are herbivores as they feed on leaves, flowers, and grasses with mosses and lichens.
Musk deers are mostly active at night, and they live alone. During rutting season, the males use their tusks as weapons to compete for mates. Just like their name suggests, musk deers have a gland that produces musk. That is the reason why people hunt them which leads to the decrease of their population. People use their musk to make perfumes fixative and soaps as well as incense materials and traditional Chinese medicine since ancient times.
Got their name from the distinctive tuft of black hair on their forehead, tufted deers are among the deers with fangs. The unique thing about them is that this deer species has both antlers and fangs which is different from the others in the list.
Tufted deers live in the south and southeast of China across to eastern Tibet, and in northern Myanmar. These fanged deers love to live in high and damp forests near the tree line in both deciduous and evergreen forests. These deers are herbivores, and they feed on leaves, twigs, grasses, bushes, and other plants. The tufted deers use them to slash with other males during the territorial defense. The longer you look at them, the cooler they look.
With the cool hair and the intimidating fangs, this tufted deer is definitely one of a kind. Both species lack antlers, but they are equipped with a pair of prominent tusks aka fangs.
Just like other deer species, this one are herbivores and they feed on plants especially water plants. That is why you will find them in swampy habits like swamps, grasslands, mountainous regions, along the rivers, and more.The species is noted for the tusks that males grow during mating season, which extend out of the mouth and look much like fangs. Though they grow extra large teeth rather than antlers, musk deer use them for the same purpose as true deer use their antlers: for sparring with other males.
But it isn't the tusks which draw in poachers, but rather their musk gland, which is sold on the black market to be used for things like perfumes. The news of the sighting is wonderful for the species, which is endangered due to habitat loss and continued poaching. But the outcome of the sightings is even more important than the sightings themselves. The fact it was spotted now pushes renewed energy into conservation interests and efforts. All are hunted for their meat and musk pouches, which contain a smelly secretion valued for use in traditional medicine and in perfumes.
Human activity has taken a serious toll on this fascinating deer. As is the case with too many species, humans destroying habitat and hunting has pushed the deer into steep, mountainsides that are difficult to get to and thus offer a small bit of refuge from poaching, but it may not be enough to persist. As LiveScience points out, "Three decades of war have ravaged Nuristan province, and the continued violence and political instability make the black-market trade of scent glands uncontrollable.
Furthermore, the species is quickly losing suitable habitat. Recent geological surveys of the area show that it has lost about 50 percent of its mountainous forests since the s, according to the study.
The sighting of the Kashmir musk deer still offers hope, however, just by knowing it is still there. It makes its way into the record books with other " Lazarus species " like Pharotis imogenea bat species that hadn't been spotted in years and was thought extinct, and the variable harlequin frog, which was thought lost forever until it was sighted again in These and other species that appear to searching scientists are faint blips on a radar, which underscore why conserving habitat is essential to the persistence of species, even those -- or especially those -- that are barely clinging on.
As WCS reports in the press release of the energizing sighting, "targeted conservation of the species and its habitat are needed for it to survive in Afghanistan. Although the deteriorating security conditions in Nuristan did not allow NGOs to remain in Nuristan afterthe Wildlife Conservation Society maintains contact with the local people it has trained and will pursue funding to continue ecosystem research and protection in Nuristan when the situation improves.
It is through dogged efforts like this that some species are able to survive -- and in some special cases, once again thrive -- despite the odds against them. For the Kashmir musk deer, those odds seem overwhelming in light of their value to poachers. Exactly what help they need, and how to provide conservation measures, is still up in the air, but WCS plans to continue the effort. We hope that conditions will stabilize soon to allow WCS and local partners to better evaluate conservation needs of this species.
Vampire Deer: Why Some Deer Have Fangs
Glow-in-the-dark mushroom rediscovered after years.An endangered deer with vampirelike fangs was spotted for the first time in nearly 60 years, in a remote forest in northeastern Afghanistan. The fanged creature is known as the Kashmir musk deer, and it's native to the Himalayas of northern India, Pakistan's Kashmir region and northern Afghanistan.
Only the male deer have fangs, and they use them during mating season to compete for females. A team of researchers scoured Afghanistan's Nuristan province during andand recorded five sightings of the animal.
This was the first time the species had been spotted since The sightings were described in this month's edition of the journal Oryx. During the survey, the researchers spotted a single male Kashmir musk deer near the same area three separate times. The researchers also recorded one female and her baby, and saw a second single female that they think may have been the same deer, without her baby.
The researchers also found the carcass of a poached female deer. These musk deer are classified as an endangered species on the International Union for Conservation of Nature's Red List. Three decades of war have ravaged Nuristan province, and the continued violence and political instability make the black-market trade of scent glands uncontrollable. Furthermore, the species is quickly losing suitable habitat. Recent geological surveys of the area show that it has lost about 50 percent of its mountainous forests since the s, according to the study.
All of the musk deer were spotted on sheltered rocky outcrops around 9, feet 3, meters high.
Why do Musk Deer have fangs?
In the summer, they regularly trek along steep slopes that make them almost impossible to approach and keep them relatively safe from hunters. However, heavy snowfall in the winter drives the species farther down, to more human-accessible slopes, and hunters come from all over the country to stalk the deer for their valuable scent glands.
But poaching isn't the only threat this rare Afghan species faces; human development has fragmented the musk deer's habitat. They rely on mountainous, coniferous forests, but deforestation and human settlements are encroaching upon the species' vanishing home. Due to violence and unrest, nongovernmental organizations like the Wildlife Conservation Society have not been able to operate in the Nuristan province since The WCS maintains contact with locals they have trained to survey and search for the musk deer.
Once the situation in Nuristan improves, the WCS intends to return to the area to continue research and to formulate a conservation plan. Follow Kelly Dickerson on Twitter. Original article on Live Science.
Live Science. Please deactivate your ad blocker in order to see our subscription offer. A recent study found a small group of fanged Kashmir musk deer in Afghanistan. The photo shows a Siberian musk deer - a related species also found in Asia.The Siberian musk deer Moschus moschiferus is a musk deer found in the mountain forests of Northeast Asia. It is most common in the taiga of southern Siberiabut is also found in parts of MongoliaInner MongoliaManchuria and the Korean peninsula.
Their small shape allows them to hide from predators through tiny openings in the rocky terrain and also allow them to run exceptionally fast from their predators. Although bearing fangsSiberian musk deer are actually herbivores with their main source of nutrients being lichens.
Due to the severe amount of poaching for its musk gland, the deer population is continuing to decrease. However, efforts from each sighted countries are beginning to reintroduce the musk deer's population.
Russian Far East - M. Verkhoyansk Ridge - M. It takes approximately a year for the Siberian musk deer to reach maturity with an average deer living 10 — 14 years. During breeding season, male deer will grow tusks instead of antlers. Tusks that are longer and stronger create a more intimidating stance and become more attractive to females as the offspring of that male are likely to become healthier. Once the male and the female deer have procreated, the females will become pregnant lasting over 6 months and can give birth to offspring, usually between the months of May through June.
Musk will mark their territory warning trespassing deers not to cross the boundary. When marking their territories, musk deer gather fallen branches, tree trunks, as well as plant stems and place them in a circle. While placing the various branches around the circle, the deer will often do an olfactory examination and turn the back of its body towards the marked territories.
Other ways the Siberian Musk Deer will mark its territory is by defecating in already marked territories or unclaimed territories. Most Siberian musk deer are generally nocturnal inhabiting the mountainous taiga and found in shrub-covered slopes where foods are abundant. The rocky location provides crevices and crags for the musk deer to hide from many predators, such as lynx and wolverines.
Musk deer have a preference for easily digestible nutritious foods that are both rich in protein and low in fiber. During periods of winter, musk deer can survive in even poorer food quality ranging in foods that are low in proteins but are high in energy and can be easily digested. The majority of their diet consists mostly of lichens, pine needles, leaves, and tree barks.
Siberian Musk deer have a preference for easily digestible nutritious foods. It is largely nocturnal, and migrates only over short distances. Only a few tens of grams can be extracted from an adult male. It is possible to remove the gland without killing the deer, but this is seldom done. Inthe Korean company Sooam Biotech was reported to be attempting to clone the Siberian musk deer to help conserve the species. The most striking characteristics of the Siberian musk deer are its tusks and kangaroo-like face.
Males grow the teeth for display instead of antlers. A distinct subspecies roams the island of Sakhalin. World population :Declining. The decline of the Siberian Musk Deer's population began in China where most of the deer population was abundant. After the s, the production begins to steadily decline due to hunting for their musk glands.كل ما تود معرفته عن مسك الغزال - DEER MUSK in action
Then the cycle of over-harvesting the deer's musk continued until the exploitation severely reduced the musk deer's population. Another threat comes from the habitat loss by deforestation. For a long period, China cut more of its forest than they could replant. Deforestation is a severe threat to the musk deer's long term survival because the deer can only live in a few areas.
The Siberian musk deer is considered vulnerable, but is slowly declining to endangerment. All trades regarding musk are subject to strict regulation to avoid exploitation of the survival of the deer.