Deer (Odocoileus virginianus) are native to all continents except for Australia and Antarctica. They live in “edge” habitats, which are usually manmade or natural breaks that divide two different terrains, like woods and plains. The woods they use for cover and shelter, while they use the open land to graze in. Most female deer (does, cows or hinds) do not have antlers, but the male deer (bucks, bulls, stags or harts) do. They are actually the only animal that has antlers — the fastest growing living tissue on earth. Each year the deer grows new antlers from spring until fall. At this time, the soft tissue on the antlers sheds and by winter, the antlers fall off to immediately begin growing again.
Deer have a great sense of hearing, vision and smell. They have the ability to move their ears in any direction without moving their head, which gives them their great sense of hearing. Both of their eyes are on the side of their head, giving them the ability to see a view of 310 degrees. And with their impeccable sense of smell, deer can smell predators from far off. Not only do they have great senses, they have powerful muscles in their legs that make it easy to run 40 miles per hour or jump 10 feet high.
Mating season occurs for deer between October and January. The doe will give birth after 7 months, usually to between one and three fawns. Lucky for the does, their fawns are protected by a lack of scent, so no predator can smell them.
Fun Deer Facts
- The white-tailed deer is named after the white underside of its tail, which it shows when it’s in danger.
- Deer are herbivores, but their stomach allows them to eat a wide variety of foods, from grass to nuts to fruits.
- Deer can jump up to 10 feet high, and in one single bound, they can jump as far as 30 feet.
Click here to go back to Animal Facts and Information.