Water deer

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Water deer
Conservation status
Scientific classification
Kingdom: Animalia
Class: Mammalia
Order: Artiodactyla
Family: Cervidae
Genus: Hydropotes
Binomial name
Hydropotes inermis
water deer

The water deer (Hydropotes inermis) is an even-toed ungulate mammal of the deer family. It is the only member of the subfamily Hydropotinae. There are two subspecies: the Chinese water deer (Hydropotes inermis inermis) and the Korean water deer (Hydropotes inermis argyropus).

Appearance[change | change source]

Water deer are small deer: they are about 90 cm long and about 50 cm high. They weigh about 13 kg. The Water Deer has yellowish-brown fur, with a white chin and throat. Both males and females do not have antlers. Males have long upper canine teeth (called tusks), which can be up to 5 cm long.

Habitat[change | change source]

The water deer originally lived in China and Korea. Today there are also small wild populations in England and France. Water deer live close to water: in swamps and on the shores of rivers and lakes.

Life[change | change source]

Water deer eat grasses and reeds. They also eat grains and vegetables from fields.

Water Deer live alone, but sometimes they form small groups.

After a pregnancy of 200 days the female gives birth to 2-4 babies. A water deer baby has white dots and stripes on its fur, which disappear after 8 weeks. They drink milk for 3 months. When the young water deer are 6 months old they are independent and leave their mothers. They become mature when they are 1 year old.