Mule deer

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Mule deer
MuleDeer ModocCounty.jpg
Mule deer male and female in Modoc County, California
Scientific classification
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O. hemionus
Binomial name
Odocoileus hemionus
(Rafinesque, 1817)

Mule deer (Odocileus hemionus) is a species of deer. They are sometimes called black-tailed deer. They live in western North America. Their name was given to them because of their mule-like ears. There are many subspecies, including the black-tailed deer.[1][2][3][4] Unlike the white-tailed deer, mule deer lives on land west of the Missouri River. They also live in the Rocky Mountains region of North America. Mule deer have been introduced to Argentina.

The mule deer's favorite food is new plants that grow in the spring. They eat a large number of their yearly calories during spring feeding. Because spring comes later in colder places, the mule deer move from warmer to colder places so they spend the most where there are spring plants to eat. Scientists call this "green wave surfing." According to scientists from the University of Wyoming, by migrating, mule deer can eat spring plants for 120 days in a year with lots of rain and 60 days in a year with very little rain. The deer are very good at figuring out where the spring growth will be and when it will be there, even when it is different from the last year. The scientists also say that climate change is putting the deer in danger by causing more years with very little rain.[5][6]

References[change | change source]

  1. Novak, R. M. (1999). Walker's Mammals of the World. 6th edition. ISBN 0-8018-5789-9
  2. Reid, F. A. (2006). Mammals of North America. 4th edition. ISBN 978-0-395-93596-5
  3. Heffelfinger, J. (Ver. 2, March 2011). Tails with a dark side: The truth about whitetail–mule deer hybrids.
  4. Geist, V. (1998). Deer of the world: their evolution, behaviour, and ecology. ISBN 978-0-8117-0496-0
  5. Eurekalert (June 12, 2020). "Study reveals impacts of climate change on migrating mule deer". Press release. https://www.eurekalert.org/pub_releases/2020-06/uow-sri061120.php. Retrieved June 21, 2020. 
  6. Ellen O. Aikens; Kevin L. Monteith; Jerod A. Merkle; Samantha P. H. Dwinnell; Gary L. Fralick; Matthew J. Kauffman (June 11, 2020). "Drought reshuffles plant phenology and reduces the foraging benefit of green‐wave surfing for a migratory ungulate". Climate Change Biology. doi:10.1111/gcb.15169. Retrieved June 21, 2020.

Other websites[change | change source]