10 Facts About The Mouse Deer

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Chevrotain, the mouse deer, holds the title of being the smallest hoofed animal of the world. It was last sighted in 1990, until 2019 when conservation scientists photographed a silver-backed chevrotain in deep Vietnamese forests. Let’s look at 10 facts about the mouse deer.

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Smallest Wonders

The mouse deer grows up to a height of maximum 12 inches. They are really tiny! They weigh around 2 to 4 pounds, and are usually seen in dense forests as they can navigate them effortlessly. Do not be fooled by their small size, their hoofs are very sharp.

selective focus photography of full moon

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Nocturnal Travelers

The mouse deer is a purely nocturnal creature. They are the animals of the darkness. As the night falls, they come out of hibernation to forage for fruits and leaves, and occasionally for insects.

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Not all mouse deers are made equal. Their Javanese counterpart has an unique feature: a pair of tusks, mini-sabers, protrude from their lower jaw. The tusks help the mouse deer to dig better for tubers and roots, and they also help to defend themselves against predators.

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Excellent Agility

Given their smaller stature, they are able to defy gravity, much like cats. They are fast and agile, and can save themselves from predators like snakes and leopards easily. They can jump high in the air and glide about smoothly.

a statue of a dinosaur in a grassy area

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Primitive Presence

Experts estimate that the mouse deers have been occupying earth for the last 30 million years at least. Surprisingly, unlike other animals, their physical form has not changed much. Safe to say that they once walked the earth alongside dinosaurs!

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Lonely Souls

Mouse deers do not live in packs; they prefer solitude, which is precisely the reason that their numbers are less in the world. When necessary, they venture out to find a mate. This follows with a brief period of companionship and mating, and then they again go their separate ways.

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Camouflage Experts

Their tiny size anyway makes it hard to spot them. Added to this is their reddish-brown coat which further helps them to remain invisible to predators. They blend within the forest effortlessly. Talk about survival skills!

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Swimming Ninjas

The mouse deers are excellent swimmers. Research shows that they can hold their breath underwater for four minutes and guess what?! They can even walk underwater. Woah! Such an interesting species to explore. Diving into water is also a good way to escape predators.

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Sprinters of Forests

If forest animals ever held a running championship, the mouse deer would definitely win a prize. They zig-zag their way into the forest foliage, helped by strong leg muscles and light body weight. They have been known to run about 45 km/hour.

trees in forest

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Habitat Loss

The mouse deer faces extinction from habitat loss and illegal hunting. Conservation efforts exist to ensure their survival. However, steps need to be taken to curb their hunting. These miniature marvels need protection to survive the next few million years.


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