Thursday, April 14, 2011

Indian Muntjac

Male Muntiacus muntjak
The Indian or Common Muntjac is a small species of deer found in South and Southeast Asia.They are also known as "Barking Deer" due to the dog-like barking sound that they create when they are startled. When they feel especially threatened they may repeat this call over and over for as long as an hour.

Male Indian Muntjacs have both antlers and tusks, which they use while competing over females and territory. Outside of the breeding season they are solitary animals. Rutting can take place at pretty much any time of year, and females give birth to one offspring at a time.

Indian Muntjacs are rather interesting due to their diet. Despite being deer, they are omnivores. They feed on grasses, fruits, and seeds, but they also eat small mammals! The Minutjacs use their feet to stomp prey to death, and are able to tear at meat with their tusks.

Indian Muntjacs are hunted in many parts of their range, and they are used for meat, skins, and medicines. Muntjacs actually serve a positive purpose for humans in that their barking can warn against the presence of major predators.

IUCN Status : Least Concern
Location : South and Southeast Asia
Size : Weighs 15-30lbs (6.8-13.6kg), Shoulder height approx. 20in (50cm)
Classification : Phylum : Chordata -- Class : Mammalia -- Order : Artiodactyla
Family : Cervidae -- Genus: Muntiacus -- Species : M. muntjak

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