Vampire Deer or Water Deer - Feeding and Characteristics

Vampire deer or water deer: find out what this animal is like, its physical characteristics, character, behavior, etc. Deer are a diverse group of animals belonging to...

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Deer are a diverse group of animals belonging to the Cervidae family. One of their general characteristics is that most male deer have antlers, while only female reindeer can have antlers as well. However, evolutionary data indicate that the ancestors of deer had both antlers and tusks, but over time the larger species developed better antlers and lost their tusks, while some smaller species have reduced or lost their antlers and retained prominent canines.Thus, we find the water deer (Hydropotes inermis), a particular member of this family which has no antlers but which has prominent canines. Continue reading this PlanèteAnimal file and discover everything about the vampire deer!

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  • Asia
  • China
  • North Korea
  • South Korea

Characteristics of Vampire Deer or Water Deer

The vampire deer is undoubtedly a special species among deer. So let's find out what the characteristics of the vampire deer are:

  • It evolved from deer that had antlers and lost them.
  • Its length can vary from 0.7 to 1 meter, and its height from 0.40 to 0.65 meter.
  • On average, males weigh 13 kg, and females about 11 kg.
  • He has a long neck.
  • His hind legs are strong and longer than his front legs.
  • Pectoral and pelvic belts are narrow.
  • " Its tusks are prominent and can exceed 5 cm, hence its name vampire deer."
  • Its coat is rough, thick and uniform in color, yellowish-brown on the upper part of the body and yellowish-white below.
  • His tail is quite short.
  • This is the only type of deer to have inguinal glands.
  • Two subspecies have been identified: H. i. argyropus heude and H. i. inermis swinhoe.

Differences between deer and roe deer? We solve your doubts in this other article of PlanèteAnimal!

Where does the vampire deer live?

Although the vampire deer is native to China, the Democratic People's Republic of Korea and the Republic of Korea, it has also been introduced to France and the United Kingdom.In terms of habitat, it thrives in areas with shrubs and small trees, usually staying in border areas. It also occurs in coastal plains, s alt marshes and riparian areas, and does not tolerate human presence. On the other hand, it can live in certain types of crops, in unaffected waterways and in patches of vegetation.

Behavior of the water deer or vampire deer

The vampire deer or water deer, as its name suggests, is a species that can swim without problem, and can therefore perfectly live in ecosystems near bodies of water. It is a solitary species, except during the breeding season. The males are quite territorial and they mark their territory with urine, faeces and by leaving scent trails with their glands; they may also leave marks on vegetation to indicate their presence.

Males use their tusks to fight when they cross paths in the same territory. Before the confrontation, they make signs to persuade the invader to leave; if that doesn't happen, they fight.

For their part, the females are territorial during the breeding season, the rest of the time they can even stay in small groups, but when they are about to give birth and after giving birth they do not do not tolerate the presence of other females nearby and are able to drive them out of their territory.

What does the vampire deer eat?

All types of deer are herbivorous animals, and the vampire deer is no exception that proves the rule. In addition, it is a ruminant, so it has a real stomach and three additional chambers where the fermentation of plants takes place.

" Specifically, the vampire deer can consume different types of herbaceous plants, juvenile grasses, sedges and also some vegetables, for example beets. This type of diet is very fibrous. If you want more details on What do deer eat?, do not hesitate to read this post that we recommend."

Vampire deer reproduction

As mentioned, the species is solitary, but during the breeding season it forms breeding pairs, which may eventually be somewhat stable. Females come into annual heat between November and December, known as the slab. There is a ritual between pairs to feel and make certain sounds, usually the males are with several females.

Between the months of May to July, baby deer are born and there can be up to six fawns, although more often there are just three. The female gives birth in sparsely vegetated areas, but quickly shelters the young in thick vegetation, where they remain for about a month. At the end of the summer, the litter is expelled from the territory, the brothers can possibly stay together for a while, but they eventually become independent.

State of conservation of the vampire deer

The vampire deer or water deer is classified as vulnerable by the International Union for Conservation of Nature. It is mainly threatened by direct hunting and habitat destruction.

Vampire deer would be the subject of intensive hunting, on the one hand for the consumption of its meat, and on the other hand because the undigested milk present in the belly of the animal is extracted ways to be used in traditional medicine. Some conservation actions have been implemented and the species is listed as vulnerable on the Chinese Red List.

Photos of Vampire Deer or Water Deer

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