Over 60 species of deer exist across the globe. They live in all parts of the world apart from Antarctica. However, only one species, the Barbarybred deer, lives in Africa. A female deer is known as a doe, while a male one is a buck. A fawn is the young one of deer.
The average lifespan of a deer is about three to six years in the wild and 15 to 20 years in captivity. But a white-tailed doe in Georgia shocked many when it lived for 22 years.
A deer’s lifespan depends mainly on location and species. They can survive in various ecosystems—from wet and warm rainforests to mountainous habitats. Bucks weigh about 120 to 160 pounds, while does weigh between 80 and 120 pounds. Their height ranges from 1.04 to 6.8 feet and an average length of 2.7 to 10.5 feet.
Deer’s main distinctive feature is the antlers in bucks. All female deer, apart from the caribou, also called reindeer, lack antlers. Unlike horns, antlers are shed off and regrow yearly. They can be between 3.14 and 25 inches long.
Most predatory species, like lions, leopards, and cheetahs, prey on deer. In a seemingly unnatural scenario, two deer are seen in a video drinking water from a pond, with a leopard peacefully doing the same beside them.
The video starts with one deer inside the watering hole, and the near-camouflaged leopard bent at the edge. Then, another deer approaches from behind the leopard, startling it for a while before everything settles back as it was. Finally, the new deer moves beside the predator, and all three animals share the pond as they mind their business.
Are Deer That Special?
There are many surprising facts about deer that you may not know yet. For example, did you know deer can leap to a high of 10 feet in the air and make 30 mph-sprints? One hop from a deer can cover up to 30 feet.
While it does lack antlers, its canines are long and can grow up to 3.1 inches. When the mating season occurs, bucks use their antlers as weapons to fight over females, and the winner takes the doe—red deer roar during the mating season as they hold their matches in the wild.
How Do Deer Avoid Predators?
As one of the most hunted species, deer adapt well to their environment with strong survival tactics. For example, young deer, and fawns are born scentless to keep the predators away. They can also walk from 30 minutes to one hour after birth, giving them a head start over the predators.
Deer are good swimmers with excellent night vision. Additionally, their eyes are on each side of their head instead of the front, with a 310-degree vision.
Besides having other wild animals as predators, hunters are also a significant threat to deer. Bucks and reindeer are hunted for their antlers, which have ornamental and decorative value. Some people hunt deer for game meat, while others do it for the antlers—which they hang in houses or offices as trophies.
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