World's Smallest Deer

KC

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Jun 3, 2002
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Colorado Springs, CO
Just got back from a whirlwind vacation in the Lower Keys. Saw a couple of dozen Key Deer on Big Pine Key. There are about 600 of them, endangered and completely protected. The deer are unafraid so no challenge to hunt but still interesting to see.

This little lady is about 28" high to the top of her head. She is characteristically daintey, maybe weighing 40 pounds. I saw a couple of "big" bucks that might be 30" high and had 6 point racks with main beams about 7" long and longest tines maybe 1 1/2".



KC
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tnctcb

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Feb 27, 2002
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florida
i work for a company with an office in key west.ive been on big pine and had these guys walking around in neighborhoods and look up in the back of my trailer. big pine key is the only place these guys can be found in the world, they wont even swim 100 yards to another key
 

Oak

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That's interesting, KC. I remember hearing of the deer's plight about 20 years ago. I think the population was much lower then. I hadn't heard anything else since then and figured that they had gone the way of Elkchsr's camels an elephants. It's good to see that some are still around.

Oak
 

ELKCHSR

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There are a bunch of those little deer in the San Juans in Wa. state.
No bigger than dogs.
 

KC

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They are whitetails that have evolved in isolation to reduce body size as a response to warmer temperatures where they live. Small body size allows them to dissipate heat better.

Another guy e-mailed that there is one smaller. He said it's called the mouse deer of central Asia and only about 15" high.

KC
 

Oak

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Yeah, you know the really cool thing about the muntjac is that it has long canines...fangs, if you will. You can barely see them sticking out each side of the mouth in the link Dan posted. Here's another one where you can see them a little better.

Muntjac Photo

Here's a picture of just a muntjac skull.

You can even go hunt the beasts: Muntjac hunt

Oak
 
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