Deer and Antelopes
Deer are the ruminant mammals forming the family Cervidae. Species in the Cervidae family include white-tailed deer, mule deer such as black-tailed deer, elk, moose, red deer, reindeer (caribou), fallow deer, roe deer and chital. Male deer of all species (except the Chinese water deer) and also female reindeer grow and shed new antlers each year. Therefore, they differ from permanently horned animals such as antelope; these are in the same order as deer and may bear a superficial resemblance.
The world's Deer are widely distributed, with indigenous representatives in all continents except Antarctica and Australia, though Africa has only one native species, the Red Deer, confined to the Atlas Mountains in the northwest of the continent. However, Fallow Deer have been introduced to South Africa.
Most Deer live in a variety of habitat ranging from tundra to the tropical rainforest. While often associated with forests, many deer are ecotone species that live in transitional areas between forests and thickets (for cover) and prairie and savanna (open space). The majority of large deer species inhabit temperate mixed deciduous forest, mountain mixed coniferous forest, tropical seasonal/dry forest, and savanna habitats around the world.
The Antelope is a deer-like mammal found in Africa, Asia and parts of the Americas. There are many different species of antelope including the tiny Royal antelope that stands only as tall as a rabbit.
Unlike Deer which shed their horns annually, the Antelope has permanent horns and use them to defend their herd or to fight with other antelopes.
Antelope displays different defensive behaviours based on their size, habitat, number and species. The smaller solitary antelope tend to live in dense forested areas and these species of antelope defend themselves by hiding. The duiker antelopes get their name from this specie\'s ability to dive into the vegetation. Gazelle-sized antelope run and leap, and some species of antelope exhibit their unique behaviour of pronking or stotting. Large antelope congregate in larger herds and can depend on running as group defence.
Antelopes are found in wide ranging habitats, from woodlands and forests, to savannahs and grassland plains. Some species have adapted to living in mountains, rocky outcrops and even deserts and swamps.
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