Âpiscimôsis - Deer - Cervidae - Biche - Cerf
Cervidae (Scientific name)
Âpiscimôsis (Indigenous name - Cree)
Biche (French - feminine) Cerf (French - masculine)
Deer in captivity can live as long as 15 years. But in the wild, unfortunately they will probably only live 1-3 years. Many factors affect this: falling prey to hunters and predators, extreme climates, and proximity to roads.
Deer are browsing herbivores, and feed primarily on grass, shrubs, and trees. But they are not picky eaters! They’ll snack on just about anything they can find! Berries, flowers, you name it. Have you ever caught a Deer grazing in your backyard?
There are many different types of Deer: Red Deer, Fallow Deer, White-tailed Deer, and Roe Deer are just a few. They weigh between 30 and 1500 pounds, depending on the species! Did you know that Elk and Moose also belong in the Deer family?
Male Deer are called “bucks” or “stags”, female Deer are called “does”, and baby deer are called “fawn”. Deer often travel in herds. The majority of these herds are made up of females, with one dominant male.
All male Deer have antlers. Generally they emerge as soft tissues, which are called velvet antlers. Then, they gradually harden into bony structures, which are known as hard antlers. Deer shed their antlers, but each time they grow back they’re even larger than the last set! Did you know, the size and weight of antlers correlate to a Deer’s position in the social hierarchy?
Deer are constantly in danger, and always have to be on the lookout for predators. They have eyes on the sides of their head and long ears which help them detect movement and sound. Their long legs help them run super fast - they can reach speeds of up to almost 60 kilometres an hour! How fast do you think you can run?
Female Deer generally give birth to one or two fawns, which can start walking within 20 minutes of being born! Can you imagine? A momma and her fawn will stay together for about one year. The males will usually part ways and never see their mother again, while females may come back with a fawn of their own and join their mother’s herd.
Where can you find them? Deer are widely distributed across North and South America, but the majority of Deer can be found in regions between Alberta and British Columbia. Pretty cool, huh?
Have you ever seen a Deer in the wild?