Our Beautiful World

North American Animals, Page 3 of 5

Group of sea otters, Enhydra lutris
Photo: Karney, Lee

On this page:

Mule deer, Odocoileus hemionus
Sitka Black Tailed Deer, Odocoileus hemionus sitkensis
Musk Ox , Ovibos moschatus
Pronghorn, Antilocapra americana
Elk, Cervus canadensis
Moose, Alces alces
White-tailed deer, Odocoileus virginianus

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Some of the most fascinating animals are the deers and their alikes. At least, I think so. May be you don't. But take a look...

Creator: Hines, Bob

Buck doe, Bosque del Apache, New Mexico

Deer (singular and plural) are the ruminant mammals forming the family Cervidae. Species in the Cervidae family include
white-tailed deer, elk, moose, red deer, reindeer (caribou), fallow deer, roe deer and chital.

Male deer of all species and female reindeer grow and shed new antlers each year. In this they differ from permanently
horned animals such as antelope; these are in the same order as deer and may bear a superficial resemblance.

For most deer in modern English usage, the male is called a "buck" and the female is a "doe", but the terms vary with dialect,
and especially according to the size of the species. For many larger deer the male is a "stag", while for other larger deer
the same words are used as for cattle: "bull" and "cow". The male Red Deer is a "hart", especially if more than five years old,
and the female is a "hind", especially if three or more years old; both terms can also be used for any species of deer,
and were widely so used in the past.

Terms for young deer vary similarly, with that of most being called a "fawn" and that of the larger species "calf"; young of
the smallest kinds may be a kid. A group of deer of any kind is a "herd". The adjective of relation pertaining to deer is cervine;
like the family name "Cervidae", this is from Latin: cervus, "deer".
Source: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Deer

Mule deer, Odocoileus hemionus

Mule Deer Herd
Photo Heffernan, David

The mule deer, Odocoileus hemionus, is a deer indigenous to western North America, named for its large mule-like ears.
There are believed to be several subspecies, including the black-tailed deer. Unlike its cousin, the white-tailed deer, mule deer
are generally more associated with the land west of the Missouri River, and more specifically with the Rocky Mountain region
of North America.

The most noticeable differences between whitetails and mule deer are the size of their ears, the color of their tails, and the
configuration of their antlers. In many cases, body size is also a key difference. The mule deer's tail is black-tipped, whereas
the whitetail's is not. Mule deer antlers are bifurcated; in other words, they "fork" as they grow, rather than branching from a
single main beam, as is the case with whitetails. Each spring, after mating season, a buck's antlers start to regrow almost
immediately after the old antlers are shed. Shedding typically takes place in mid February, with variations occurring by locale.
Although capable of running, mule deer often prefer to stot, with all four feet coming down together.

Mule Deer Herd
Photo: Zahm, Gary

The mule deer is the larger of the two Odocoileus species, with a height averaging about 100–110 cm at the shoulders
and a nose-to-tail length of about200 cm. Adult bucks normally weigh 70–140 kg, although trophy specimens may weigh
around 200 kg; does weigh around 57–80 kg. Unlike the whitetail, the mule deer does not show marked size variation
across its range.

Text about the Mule Deer: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mule_deer

Sitka Black Tailed Deer, Odocoileus hemionus sitkensis

Sitka Black Tailed Deer, Odocoileus hemionus sitkensis
Photo: Hillebrand, Steve

subspecies of mule deer

The Sitka deer or Sitka black-tailed deer, Odocoileus hemionus sitkensis, is a subspecies of mule deer, and similar to
another subspecies the black-tailed deer Odocoileus hemionus colombianus. Their name originates from Sitka, Alaska.
Sitka deer are characteristically smaller than other types of black-tailed deer.

Reddish-brown in the summer, their coats darken to a gray-brown in the winter. They are also good swimmers, and can
occasionally be seen crossing deep channels between islands. Their average life span is about 10 years but a few are known
to have attained an age of 15.

Sitka black-tailed deer, Alaska
Photo: Laubenstein, Karen

Sitka deer inhabit the coastal rainforests of northern British Columbia, Canada and southeastern Alaska, United States.
They have also been found on the islands of the Alexander Archipelago, Prince William Sound, Kodiak Archipelago,
and Haida Gwaii (Queen Charlotte Islands), British Columbia.

Sitka deer can be both migratory and residential depending on their habitat, but during winter months they primarily reside in
old or mixed age forest growth below 450 m). The rut peaks in mid-November and fawns are born in the early June and
weigh 2.7–3.6 kg. Bucks could weigh up to 55–90 kg and does could weigh 35–45 kg.

Sitka black-tailed deer, Alaska
Photo: Laubenstein, Karen

Sitka deer primarily eat green vegetation. However during the intense Alaskan winters, they will also feed on woody
vegetation and lichen. Sitka deer have no upper incisors, and digest vegetation through grinding plant material between
their upper and lower molars. All Odocoileus are ruminants, in that they have a four chambered stomach which allows
them to "ruminate" (re-chew) their food, and contains bacteria specialized in breaking down cellulose.

Since this bacteria is so specialized, they have tremendous difficulty digesting strange material and can die of starvation
with their bellies full of food. Sitka deer like bunch berry, foam flower, trailing raspberry, fern leaf golden thread,
vaccinium, hemlock/cedar, and salmon berry bush.

Text about the Sitka: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sitka_deer

Musk Ox , Ovibos moschatus

Musk Ox , Ovibos moschatus
Photo: Bowman, Tim

The Muskox or Musk Ox, Ovibos moschatus, is an Arctic mammal of the family Bovidae, noted for its thick coat and for
the strong odor emitted by males, from which its name derives. This musky odor is used to attract females during mating
season. Muskoxen primarily live in Arctic North America and Greenland, with small introduced populations in Sweden,
Siberia and Norway.

Musk Oxen
Photo Keller, Jo

Both sexes have long curved horns. Muskoxen stand 120 cm high at the shoulder on average, with females measuring 135
to 200 cm in length, and males 200 to 250 cm . Adults, on average, weigh 285 kg and range from 180 to 400 kg.
Their life expectancy is 12–20 years. The thick coat and large head often suggests a larger animal than the muskox truly is,
but heavy zoo-kept specimens have weighed up to 650 kilograms.

ARKive video - Muskox - overview

Muskox - overview
BBC Natural History Unit, BBC Sound Effects Center

Their coat, a mix of black, gray, and brown, includes long guard hairs that almost reach the ground. Rare "white muskoxen"
have been spotted in the Queen Maud Gulf Bird Sanctuary. Muskoxen are occasionally domesticated for wool, meat and milk.
The wool, is highly prized for its softness, length, and insulation value. Prices for yarn range between US$40 and $80 per 28 g.

Musk Oxen on Arctic National Wildlife Refuge, Alaska
Photo: Robin West

The world population is estimated at between 80,000 and 125,000, with an estimated 68,788 living on Banks Island

Muskoxen live in herds which number from 12–24 in the winter and 8–20 in the summer. They do not hold territories but
they do mark their trails with pre-orbital glands. Male and female muskoxen both have separate age based hierarchies with
mature oxen being dominant over juveniles. Dominant oxen tend to get access to the best resources and will displace
subordinates from patches of grass during the winter.

ARKive video - Muskox herd with young
Muskox herd with young
BBC Natural History Unit, BBC Sound Effects Center

Muskoxen bulls assert their dominance in many different ways. One is a "rush and butt" in which a dominant bull rushes a
subordinate from the side with its horns and will warn the subordinate so it can have a chance to get away. Bulls will also
roar, swing their heads and paw the ground. Dominant bulls sometimes treat subordinate bulls like cows. A dominant bull
will casually kick a subordinate with its foreleg, something they do to cows during mating. A subordinate bull can change his status by charging a dominant bull.

Text about the Musk Ox: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Muskox

Pronghorn, Antilocapra americana

Scenic view of several pronghorn, Antilocapra americana, grazing, prairie and mountains in background.
Photo: Hagerty, Ryan;

The pronghorn, Antilocapra americana, is a species of artiodactyl mammal endemic to interior western and central North
America. Though not an antelope, it is often known colloquially in North America as the prong buck, pronghorn antelope,
or simply antelope, as it closely resembles the true antelopes of the Old World.

Adult males are 1.3–1.5 m long from nose to tail, stand 80–105 cm high at the shoulder, and weigh 36–70 kg.
The females are the same heights as males but weigh 41–50 kg . The feet have just two hooves, with no dewclaws.
The body temperature is 38 °C.

ARKive video - Pronghorn social interaction
Pronghorn social interaction
© BBC Natural History Unit

Each "horn" of the pronghorn is composed of a slender, laterally flattened blade of bone that grows from the frontal bones
of the skull, forming a permanent core. As in the Giraffidae, skin covers the bony cores, but in the pronghorn it develops
into a keratinous sheath which is shed and regrown on an annual basis. Unlike the horns of the family Bovidae, the horn
sheaths of the pronghorn are branched, each sheath possessing a forward-pointing tine (hence the name pronghorn).
The horns of males are well developed.

Pronghorn Antelope
Photo: Leupold, James C.

It can run exceptionally fast, being built for maximum predator evasion through running, and is generally accepted to be the
fastest land mammal in the Western Hemisphere. The top speed is very hard to measure accurately and varies between
individuals; it is variously cited as up to 70, 86, or 100 km/h. It is often cited as the second-fastest land animal, second only
to the cheetah. It can, however, sustain high speeds longer than cheetahs.

ARKive video - Pronghorn running
Pronghorn running
© BBC Natural History Unit, Audio credits © Master Tracks, © BBC Natural History Unit

It has a very large heart and lungs, and hollow hair. Although built for speed, it is a very poor jumper. Their ranges are
often affected by sheep ranchers' fences. However, they can be seen going under fences, sometimes at high speed.
For this reason the Arizona Antelope Foundation and others are in the process of removing the bottom barbed wire from
the fences, and/or installing a barb-less bottom wire.

A Peninsular Pronghorn, Antilocapra americana peninsularis, National Bison Range located in Moiese, Montana.
Photo: Hagerty, Ryan

The Baja California Pronghorn or Peninsular Pronghorn, Antilocapra americana peninsularis, is a critically endangered pronghorn, endemic to Mexico. The wild population is estimated at 200.
The Peninsular Pronghorn has been on the Endangered Species List since 1975.

Text about the Pronghorn: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pronghorn

Elk, Cervus canadensis

Bull elk
Photo: Zahm, Gary

The elk or wapiti, Cervus canadensis, is one of the largest species of deer in the world and one of the largest land mammals
in North America and eastern Asia. In the deer family, Cervidae, only the larger moose, Alces alces, which is called
an "elk" in Europe, and the sambar, Rusa unicolor, rival the elk in size. Elk are similar to the Red Deer, Cervus elaphus, found in Europe, of which they were long believed to be a subspecies. However, evidence from a 2004 study of the
mitochondrial DNA indicates they are a distinct species.

Elk range in forest and forest-edge habitat, feeding on grasses, plants, leaves, and bark. Although native to North America
and Eastern Asia, they have adapted well to countries where they have been introduced, including Argentina, Australia, and
New Zealand. Their great adaptability may threaten endemic species and ecosystems into which they have been introduced.

Bull elk bugling in the Gibbon Meadow in the Yellowstone National Park
Photo: Bauer, Erwin & Peggy

Male elk have large antlers which are shed each year. Males also engage in ritualized mating behaviors during the rut,
including posturing, antler wrestling (sparring), and bugling, a loud series of vocalizations which establishes dominance
over other males and attracts females.

Elk are susceptible to a number of infectious diseases, some of which can be transmitted to livestock. Efforts to eliminate infectious diseases from elk populations, largely through vaccination, have had mixed success.

Some cultures revere the elk as a spiritual force. In parts of Asia, antlers and their velvet are used in traditional medicines. Elk are hunted as a game species; the meat is leaner and higher in protein than beef or chicken.

Roosevelt elk at Gold Bluffs Beach
Photo: Blake, Tupper Ansel

There are at present four recognized subspecies in North America, the Roosevelt elk, Cervus canadensis roosevelti,
(picture above), Tule elk, Cervus. canadensis nannodes, (picture below), Manitoban, Cervus canadensis manitobensis
and Rocky Mountain, Cervus canadensis nelsoni.

The Eastern elk, Cervus canadensis canadensis, and Merriam's Elk, Cervus canadensis merriami subspecies have
been extinct for at least a century.

The elk is a large animal of the artiodactyle ungulate order, possessing an even number of toes on each foot, similar to those
of camels, goats and cattle. It is a ruminant species, with a four-chambered stomach, and feeds on grasses, plants, leaves
and bark. During the summer, elk eat almost constantly, consuming between 4 and 7 kilograms daily.In North America,
males are called bulls, and females are called cows. In Asia, stag and hind, respectively, are sometimes used instead.

Tule Elk at San Luis National Wildlife Refuge

Elk are more than twice as heavy as mule deer and have a more reddish hue to their hair coloring, as well as large, buff
colored rump patches and smaller tails. Moose are larger and darker than elk; bulls have distinctively different antlers.
Elk gather in herds, while moose are solitary. Elk cows average 225 kilograms , stand 1.3 metresat the shoulder, and are
2 metres from nose to tail. Bulls are some 40% larger than cows at maturity, weighing an average of 320 kilograms,
standing 1.5 metres at the shoulder and averaging 2.5 metres in length.

The largest of the subspecies is the Roosevelt elk, found west of the Cascade Range in the U.S. states of California,
Oregon and Washington, and in the Canadian province of British Columbia. Roosevelt elk have been reintroduced into
Alaska, where the largest males are estimated to weigh up to 600 kilograms.

Only the males have antlers, which start growing in the spring and are shed each winter. The largest antlers may be 1.2 metres long and weigh 18 kilograms. Antlers are made of bone which can grow at a rate of 2.5 centimetres per day. While actively
growing, the antlers are covered with and protected by a soft layer of highly vascularised skin known as velvet.

Tule Elk Bulls
Photo: Gary R Zahm

During the fall, elk grow a thicker coat of hair, which helps to insulate them during the winter. Males, females and calves of Siberian and North American elk all grow thin neck manes; female and young Manchurian and Alashan wapitis do not.[15] By early summer, the heavy winter coat has been shed, and elk are known to rub against trees and other objects to help remove hair from their bodies. All elk have small and clearly defined rump patches with short tails.

As is true for many species of deer, especially those in mountainous regions, elk migrate into areas of higher altitude in the
spring, following the retreating snows, and the opposite direction in the fall. Hunting pressure also impacts migration and
movements. During the winter, they favor wooded areas and sheltered valleys for protection from the wind and availability
of tree bark to eat. Roosevelt elk are generally non-migratory due to less seasonal variability of food sources.

The Greater Yellowstone Ecosystem (GYE) elk herd numbers over 200,000 individuals and during the spring and fall, they take part in the longest elk migration in the continental U.S. Elk in the southern regions of Yellowstone National Park and in
the surrounding National Forests migrate south towards the town of Jackson, Wyoming where they winter for up to six
months on the National Elk Refuge. Conservationists there ensure the herd is well fed during the harsh winters. Many of the
elk that reside in the northern sections of the GYE migrate to lower altitudes in Montana, mainly to the north and west.

Text about the Elk: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Elk

Moose, Alces alces

Bull Moose

The moose (North America) or Eurasian elk (Europe), Alces alces, is the largest extant species in the deer family.
Moose are distinguished by the palmate antlers of the males; other members of the family have antlers with a dendritic
("twig-like") configuration. Moose typically inhabit boreal and mixed deciduous forests of the Northern Hemisphere in
temperate to subarctic climates. Moose used to have a much wider range but hunting and other human activities greatly
reduced it over the years. Moose have been re-introduced to some of their former habitats. Their diet consists of both
terrestrial and aquatic vegetation. The most common moose predators are wolves, bears, and humans.

Unlike most other deer species, moose are solitary animals and do not form herds. Although generally slow-moving and
sedentary, moose can become aggressive and move surprisingly fast if angered or startled. Their mating season in the
autumn can lead to spectacular fights between males competing for the right to mate with a particular female.

Bull moose rests in vegetation
Photo: Burger, Carl

In North America, the moose range includes almost all of Canada (excluding the arctic), most of Alaska, northern New
England and upstate New York, the upper Rocky Mountains, northeastern Minnesota, Michigan's Upper Peninsula, and
Isle Royale in Lake Superior. Within this massive range, the most diverse range of subspecies exist, containing habitat for
four of the six subspecies. In western portions of the continent, moose populations extend well north into Canada (British
Columbia and Alberta) and more isolated groups have been verified as far south as the mountains of Utah and Colorado
and as far west as the Lake Wenatchee area of the Washington Cascades. In 1978, a few breeding pairs were reintroduced
in western Colorado, and the state's moose population is now more than 1,000 with great potential to grow.

Bull moose
Photo: Lockhart, Mike

Between the 1980s to 2010s, population has changed dramatically, predicated on the regrowth of plentiful food sources,
abandonment of farmland, better land management, cleanup of pollution and natural dispersal from the Canadian Maritimes
and Quebec. South of the Canadian border Maine has the most of the population with a current headcount of about 30,000
moose and dispersals from Maine over the years have resulted in healthy, growing populations each in Vermont and New
Hampshire, notably near bodies of water and as high up as 1.000m above sea level in the mountains. In turn dispersals from
northern New England have resulted in a growing population of roughly 1,000 moose in Massachusetts (where it has been
absent since the early 18th century) plus reports of new dispersals to eastern New York, Rhode Island, and Connecticut.

Moose were successfully introduced on Newfoundland in 1878 and 1904 where they are now the dominant ungulate,
and somewhat less successfully on Anticosti Island in the Gulf of St. Lawrence.

There are an estimated 500,000 to 1,000,000 moose in Canada, with 150,000 in Newfoundland in 2007 descended
from just four that were introduced in the 1900s. United States: probably around 300,000, of which 2/3 are in Alaska.

Description A male moose takes a rest in a field during a light rainshower.
Photo: Hagerty, Ryan

The moose is a herbivore and is capable of consuming many types of plant or fruit. The average adult moose needs to
consume 9770 Calories per day to maintain its body weight. Much of a moose's energy is derived from terrestrial vegetation,
mainly consisting of forbs and other non-grasses, and fresh shoots from trees such as willow and birch. These plants are
rather low in sodium, and moose generally need to consume a good quantity of aquatic plants. While much lower in energy,
these plants provide the moose with its sodium requirements, and as much as half of their diet usually consists of aquatic plant
life. In winter, moose are often drawn to roadways, to lick salt that is used as a snow and ice melter. A typical moose,
weighing 360 kilograms, can eat up to 32 kg of food per day.

Moose lack upper front teeth, but have eight sharp incisors on the lower jaw. They also have a tough tongue, lips and gums,
which aid in the eating of woody vegetation.


On average, an adult moose stands 1.4–2.1 m high at the shoulder, which is more than a foot higher than the next largest
deer on average, the Elk. Males (or "bulls") weigh 380–700 kg and females (or "cows") typically weigh 200–360 kg
The head-and-body length is 2.4–3.2 m, with the vestigal tail adding only a further 5–12 cm. The largest of all the races
is the Alaskan subspecies, Alces alces gigas, which can stand over 2.1 m at the shoulder, has a span across the antlers
of 1.8 m and averages 634.5 kg in males and 478 kg in females.

Typically, however, the antlers of a mature bull are between 1.2 m and 1.5 m . The largest confirmed size for this species
was a bull shot at the Yukon River in September 1897 that weighed 820 kg and measured 2.35 m high at the shoulder.
Behind only the bison, the Moose is the second largest land animal in both North America and Europe

Moose and Calf

Creator Jerry, Danielle G

Moose are mostly diurnal. They are generally solitary with the strongest bonds between mother and calf. Although moose
rarely gather in groups, there may be several in close proximity during the mating season.

Mating occurs in September and October. The males are polygamous and will seek several females to breed with.
During this times both sexes will call to each other. Males produce heavy grunting sounds that can be heard from up to 500
meters away, while females produce wail-like sounds. Males will fight for access to females. They either assess which is
larger, with the smaller bull retreating, or they may engage in battles, usually only involving the antlers.

Female moose have an eight-month gestation period, usually bearing one calf, or twins if food is plentiful, in May or June.
Newborn moose have fur with a reddish hue in contrast to the brown appearance of an adult. The young will stay with the
mother until just before the next young are born. The life span of an average moose is about 15–25 years.

Read more about the moose in Eurasia, click here.

Text about the Moose: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Moose

White-tailed deer, Odocoileus virginianus

White-tailed Buck
Photo: Stehn, John

The white-tailed deer, Odocoileus virginianus, also known as the Virginia deer or simply as the whitetail, is a medium-sized
deer native to the United States (all but five of the states), Canada, Mexico, Central America, and South America as far
south as Peru. It has also been introduced to New Zealand and some countries in Europe, such as Finland, Czech Republic,
and Serbia. In the Americas, it is the most widely distributed wild ungulate.

In North America, the species is most common east of the Rocky Mountains, and is absent from much of the western
United States, including Nevada, Utah, California, Hawaii, and Alaska (though its close relatives, the mule deer and
black-tailed deer, Odocoileus hemionus, can be found there). It does, however, survive in aspen parklands and deciduous
river bottomlands within the central and northern Great Plains, and in mixed deciduous riparian corridors, river valley
bottomlands, and lower foothills of the northern Rocky Mountain regions from South Dakota and Wyoming to southeastern
British Columbia, including the Montana Valley and Foothill grasslands.

White-tailed Deer
Photo: White, Philip K.

The conversion of land adjacent to the northern Rockies into agriculture use
and partial clear-cutting of coniferous trees (resulting in widespread
deciduous vegetation) has been favorable to the white-tailed deer and has
pushed its distribution to as far north as Prince George, British Columbia. Populations of deer around the Great Lakes have also expanded their
range northwards, due to conversion of land to agricultural uses favoring
more deciduous vegetation, and local caribou and moose populations.
The westernmost population of the species, known as the Columbian
white-tailed deer, once was widespread in the mixed forests along the Willamette and Cowlitz River valleys of western Oregon and southwestern
Washington, but today its numbers have been considerably reduced, and
it is classified as near-threatened. The white-tailed deer is well-suited for
its environment.


White-tailed Deer, Parker River National Wildlife Refuge, Massachusetts

The deer's coat is a reddish-brown in the spring and summer and turns to a grey-brown throughout the fall and winter.
The deer can be recognized by the characteristic white underside to its tail, which it shows as a signal of alarm by raising
the tail during escape. There is a population of white-tailed deer in the state of New York that is entirely white (except for
areas like their noses and toes)—not albino—in color. The former Seneca Army Depot in Romulus, New York, has the
largest known concentration of white deer. Strong conservation efforts have allowed white deer to thrive within the confines
of the depot.

The white-tailed deer is highly variable in size.The average size seems to be larger further away from the Equator.
North American male deer (also known as a buck or stag) usually weighs 60 to 130 kg but, in rare cases, bucks in
excess of 160 kg have been recorded. The female (doe) in North America usually weighs from 40 to 90 kg.
White-tailed deer from the tropics and the Florida Keys are markedly smaller-bodied than temperate populations, averaging
35 to 50 kg, with an occasional adult female as small as 25.5 kg. Length ranges from 95 to 220 cm, including a tail of 10 to
36.5 cm, and the shoulder height is 53 to 120 cm. Including all races, the average summer weight of adult males is 68 kg
and is 45.3 kg in adult females.

Deer have dichromatic (two-color) vision; humans have trichromatic vision. So what deer do not see are the oranges and reds that stand out so well to people.

White-tailed Deer
Photo: Berg, W. J.

Although most often thought of as forest animals depending on relatively small openings and edges, white-tailed deer can
equally adapt themselves to life in more open prairie, savanna woodlands, and sage communities as in the Southwestern
United States and northern Mexico, These savanna-adapted deer have relatively large antlers in proportion to their body
size and large tails. Also, there is a noticeable difference in size between male and female deer of the savannas.

The Texas white-tailed deer (texanus), of the prairies and oak savannas of Texas and parts of Mexico, are the largest
savanna-adapted deer in the Southwest, with impressive antlers that might rival deer found in Canada and the northern
United States. There are also populations of Arizona (couesi) and Carmen Mountains (carminis) white-tailed deer that
inhabit montane mixed oak and pine woodland communities. The Arizona and Carmen Mountains deer are smaller but may
also have impressive antlers, considering their size.

White-tailed deer buck, Odocoileus virginianus
Photo: N. & M.J. Mishler

Whitetail deer eat large varieties of food, commonly eating legumes and foraging on other plants, including shoots, leaves,
cacti, and grasses. They also eat acorns, fruit, and corn. Their special stomach allows them to eat some things that humans
cannot, such as mushrooms and Red Sumac that are poisonous to humans. Their diet varies by season according to
availability of food sources. They will also eat hay, grass, white clover, and other food that they can find in a farm yard.
Whitetail deer have been known to opportunistically feed on nesting songbirds, field mice, and birds trapped in Mist nets.

The white-tailed deer is a ruminant, which means it has a four-chambered stomach. Each chamber has a different and
specific function that allows the deer to quickly eat a variety of different food, digesting it at a later time in a safe area of
cover. The Whitetail stomach hosts a complex set of bacteria that change as the deer's diet changes through the seasons.
If the bacteria necessary for digestion of a particular food (e.g., hay) are absent it will not be digested.

There are several natural predators of white-tailed deer. wolves, cougars and American alligators are the more effective
natural predators of adult deer. Bobcats, lynxes, bears, wolverines and packs of coyotes usually will prey on deer fawns.
Bears may sometimes attack adult deer while lynxes, coyotes, wolverines and bobcats are most likely to take adult deer
when the ungulates are weakened by winter weather. The general extirpation of natural deer predators over the East Coast
(only the coyote remains widespread) is believed to be a factor in the overpopulation issues with this species.
Many scavengers rely on deer as carrion, including New World vultures, hawks, eagles, foxes, and corvids (the latter three
may also rarely prey on deer fawns).

Text about the White-tailed Deer: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/White-tailed_deer

Piebald deer running, Shepherdstown, West Virginia.

A genetic variation (defect) produces the piebald condition in white-tailed deer, not parasites or diseases. Piebald deer are
colored white and brown similar to a pinto pony. Sometimes they appear almost entirely white. In addition to this coloration,
many have some of the following observable conditions: bowing of the nose (Roman), short legs, arching spine (scoliosis),
and short lower jaws. This genetic condition is rare with typically less than one percent of white-tailed deer being affected.
Source: http://www.buckmanager.com/2007/07/17/piebald-deer-what-are-they/

Herd of deer, two of which are considered piebald due to their large, white markings.

Seneca County, New York maintains the largest herd of white deer. White pigmented white-tailed deer began populating
the deer population in the area now known as the Conservation Area of the former Seneca Army Depot.
The U.S. Army gave the white deer protection while managing the normal colored deer through hunting.

red deer, Odocoileus virginianus

Young red deer fawn, Odocoileus virginianus, at John Heinz National Wildlife Refuge, PA.
Photo: Pflug-Felder, Karen

That brings us to the end of page 3 of this North American Wildlife tour.
As per February 21st, 2012, the next 3 or more pages are not yet ready,
but you may try page four right now.

All pictures, if nothing else is mentioned, are taken from U.S.Fish & Wilflife Service,
National Digital Library at http://digitalmedia.fws.gov

They are all in public domain.


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