Backyard Animals -Deer

35 min.

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Wonder of the Day #1814

Do Deer Shed Their Antlers?


Learn about the life cycle of animals in the deer family

Big Idea

Deer are mammals that have learned to live in close proximity to humans. How are they like us and unlike us?

Jim Arnosky's all about deer.

READ Jim Arnosky's All About Deer

A deer is a ruminant mammal belonging to the family Cervidae. Deer are widely distributed, and hunted, with representatives in all continents except Australia, Antarctica, and Africa.

The males, and in some species the females, have solid antlers, often much branched, which are shed annually. Their flesh, for which they are hunted, is called venison.

Deer differ from other ruminants in that they have antlers instead of horns. Antlers are bony growths that develop each year (usually in summer) and, in general, it is only male deer that develop them (although there are exceptions).

Jim Arnosky has written two other books about deer- Long Spikes for older readers and Deer at the Brook for younger readers.

The most widespread deer species is the White-tailed Deer. Deer can jump and run as fast as 36 MPH to help them evade predators.

Play Hidden Deer



Other members of the Cervidae family include:

Caribou (also known as Reindeer)
Elk (also known as Wapiti)
Moose (largest member of the Cervidae family)