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Characteristics Of Various Deer Species Essay

1041 words - 5 pages

White tailed deer, elk, and moose are all types of deer. They are ruminant mammals forming the family Cervidae which means they grow and shed new antlers each year. These three types of deer live in areas ranging from the wilderness, forests, brush thickets, prairie, and your backyard. While often associated with forests, deer are an Eco tone species that can adapt to different environments in order to survive. The white-tailed deer, elk, and moose have different dietary needs ranging from tree bark to the tender grass allowing them to live in the same community while foraging on different foods. Reproduction characteristics for these mammals are similar but distinctive to their own breed. They have different mating patterns, gestation periods, and ways of caring for their young. The weight of these three types of deer can vary from ninety pounds to one thousand five hundred pounds. Their life span can vary from ten to twenty five years.
White-tailed deer are adaptable species and thrive in a variety of habitats. The areas are the most suitable environment include a mixture of hardwoods, crops, brush and pastures. White-tailed deer require a variety of foods for growth and reproduction. From spring through fall, they feed on grasses, fruit, weeds, crops and the tender growth. During the fall and winter their diet consists of woody plant stems, green growth, acorns and evergreen leaves. The males are called a "bucks" and the female is called a "does”. White-tailed deer mate in November in the northern parts of their range and in January or February in the southern parts of their range. The female can have from one to three fawns after about six months after mating. They hide their young in different areas in order to keep them safe from predators and ensure the survival of at least one fawn. Fawns are reddish-brown at birth with white spots that help camouflage them. They can walk immediately after birth and forage for food a couple of days later. They are weaned at about six weeks. Fawns lose their spots at about three months of age when they start to take on the colors of an adult deer. Female fawns may stay with their mother for two years; the males usually leave after a year. The mature white-tailed deer becomes tan or brown in the summer and grayish brown in winter. Its throat has white on it, around its eyes and nose are white, on its stomach and on the underside of its tail are also white. The males have antlers and can weigh between one hundred fifty and three hundred pounds. The females do not have antlers and weigh between ninety and two hundred pounds. Whitetails have a potential life span of eleven or twelve years, but seldom live longer than five and half years.
Elk live in a variety of habitats, from rain forests to alpine meadows and dry desert valleys to hardwood forests. The elk’s diet in the summer through fall consists of grasses and forbs. The winter diet consists of grasses, shrubs, tree bark...

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