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Deer (White-Tailed)

Odocoileus virginianus
Deer (White-Tailed)

Range

White-tailed deer are found across Southern Canada and throughout the eastern U.S., mid-west and Rocky Mountains.

Habitat

They are found in forests, farms and open, brushy country.

Body Traits

They are brown in summer and gray in winter. They have a large tail that they raise when they are running away. The bright white underside of their tail waves like a flag, perhaps to startle off predators or help fawns follow their mothers off to safety. Males reach 200 pounds and grow spiked antlers that they lose each winter and grow back every spring. To survive the winter, white-tailed deer grow a dense coat of wooly underfur and course guard hairs to trap warm air against the body. They move around less in winter, often forming a "deer yard" in a coniferous forest grove that is protected from the wind. They use their sharp hooves to paw through the snow for grass and acorns.

Habits

They travel in small groups. They are active mostly at early morning and late evening. Though they can be seen at all times of day.

Diet

They feed on twigs, grass, and acorns.

Predators

Predators are mountain lions. Fawns may be taken by coyotes, bears, or wolves.

Reproduction

They are pregnant for 6 months (gestation). They have 1-3 fawns in early June.

Lifespan and/or Conservation Status

They live up to 10 years in the wild. They are not threatened.

Deer (White-Tailed)

Classification

Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Chordata
Subphylum: Vertebrata
Class: Mammalia
Order: Artiodactyla
Family: Cervidae
Subfamily: Capreolinae
Genus: Odocoileus
Species: Odocoileus virginianus

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