Northern deer mammal of the deer family or cervidae, which include deer, moose and vapiti. Like others in their family, the northern deer has long legs, hooves and horns. The populations in the Arctic tundra and the adjacent boreal forests of Greenland, Scandinavia, Eurasia, Alaska and Canada were discovered. There are two varieties or ecotypes: tundra deer and forest deer. Tundra deer migrate between the tundra and forest with huge herds, numbering up to half a million individuals in an annual cycle covering an area of up to 5000 km. Forest deer is much smaller.
In North America, deer are called Caribbean, in Europe northern deer.
Some scientists believe that the deer was one of the first pets. According to the Smithsonian, he was first tamed about 2000 years ago. Many Arctic peoples still use this animal to eat, as a material for clothes and the manufacture of shelters from bad weather.
Appearance and parameters
The deer has a relatively small size, an oblong torso, a long neck and legs. Males grow from 70 to 135 cm at the withers, while the total growth can reach from 180 to 210 cm. At the same time weigh on average from 65 to 240 kg. Females are much smaller and more graceful, their growth fluctuates around 170-190 cm, and weight in the range of 55-140 kg.
The coat is thick, the pile is hollow, which provides their additional protection in the cold season of the year. The color changes depending on the season. In the summer of a deer of whitish color, and for the winter they become brown.
Northern deer is the only animal in which representatives of both sexes have horns. And although they reach only 50 cm in females, males can grow from 100 to 140 cm according to various sources, and weigh 15 kg. Deer horns serve not only decoration, but also a means of protection.
Reproduction of the northern deer
The period of puberty in the northern deer usually occurs at 4 years of life. By this time, they are ready to reproduce. The mating period begins in October and lasts only 11 days. Tundra males, united with females into thousands of groups, already before the fall have the opportunity to choose a partner for themselves and avoid serious battles with competitors. Forest deer more willingly enter the struggle for the female. In both cases, small calves are born after 7.5 months of pregnancy in May or June next year. Calves quickly gain weight, since the milk of these animals is much fatter and richer than that of other ungulates. In a month, he can start eating on his own, but usually the period of breastfeeding lasts up to 5-6 months.
Unfortunately, half of all newborn calves dies, as it is easy prey for wolves, lynxes and bears. Life expectancy is about 15 years in the wild, 20 in captivity.
Habitat and habits
In the wild, deer are found in Alaska, Canada, Greenland, Northern Europe and North Asia in tundra, mountains and forest habitats. According to EncyClopedia Britannica, their habitat has a range of up to 500 km2. Tundra deer winter in the forests, and in the spring they return to the tundra. In the fall, they again migrate into the forest.
Deer very social creatures. Therefore, they live in large groups from 6 to 13 years old, and the number of individuals in herds can count from hundreds to 50,000 goals. In the spring, their number increases. Migration to the south in search of food in the winter period also occurs jointly.
Today in the world there are about 4.5 million. Wild northern deer. The main part of them is located in North America, and only 1 million. falls on the Eurasian part. This is mainly the north of Eurasia. But in the northern part of Europe, about 3 million live. domestic deer. Until now, they are indispensable traction animals for traditional shepherds of Scandinavia and taiga Eurasia.
Their milk and meat is used for food, and warm skins go to the manufacture of clothes and housing. Horns are used in the manufacture of fakes and totems.
Northern deer are herbivores, which means that they feed exclusively with plant foods. The summer diet of a deer is grass, sedge, green leaves of shrubs and young shoots of trees. In the fall, they switch to mushrooms and foliage. During this period, an adult deer, according to the San Diego zoo, eats about 4-8 kg of vegetation per day.
In winter, the diet is quite scarce, and includes mainly high-carbing lichens and mosses that they extract from under the snow cover. Nature made sure that females later dumped horns. Thus, they protect meager food reserves from extraneous incitement.
- Males of deer lose their horns in November, and females keep them much longer.
- Deer are created in order to endure big frosts. Their noses heat the air before it falls into the lungs, and their whole body, including hooves, is covered with wool.
- Deer can develop speed up to 80 km/h.