Chinese Water Deer aka “Vampire Deer”
Scientific Name: Hydropotes Inermus
I figured I’d kick off this blog by featuring a particularly interesting animal, the Chinese Water Deer. Though they belong to the cervidae family, they are are actually more of a musk deer than a true deer, bearing no antlers but instead two conspicuous saber-like upper canines that serve as formidable weapons. The male’s tusks are considerably longer than the females’, protruding about 52mm while the females show only about 5mm.
They can be found in the lower reaches of the Yangztee River in China and Korea. The species was also introduced to and became wild in England and France, where the population actually exceeds that of the native. They live in the tall reeds along rivers, in tall grasses on mountains, and also in cultivated fields. They would fall under the biome of grassland and also forest. Chinese water deer are relatively small, ranging anywhere between 26 and 40 pounds. Their lifespan is 12 years on average.
Unlike most cervidae, this little deer is actually quite antisocial. They are almost always seen alone or in pairs, and males in particular to not tolerate other males in close proximity. These feisty little animals will not hesitate to get in a fight with another who enters their territory either, using their huge canines to strike their opponent in the neck or shoulder.
More to come on these guys in the future, stay tuned!
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