Mule deer Facts

Mule deer Facts
Mule deer is a type of hoofed mammal that belongs to the deer family. There are two subspecies of mule deer that can be found in western parts of North America. Mule deer can survive in various habitats, but it usually inhabits open, arid, rocky areas. Poaching, habitat loss, traffic accidents and diseases negatively affect number of mule deer in the wild. Despite these factors, population of mule deer is large and stable, and these animals are not on the list of endangered species.
Interesting Mule deer Facts:
Mule deer can reach 4 1/2 to 7 feet in length and 130 to 280 pounds of weight.
Mule deer is covered with coat that is light brown or reddish-brown during the summer and grey during the winter. Throat, ramp and inner part of ears and legs are white.
Mule deer have long ears that move independently and constantly, just like ears of mules. Hence the name - mule deer.
Mule deer do not have front teeth, only hard palate.
Males develop forked antlers that consist of 8 to 10 points. They spread up to 4 feet. Antlers are shed each year during February. Almost immediately, new pair of antlers starts to grow.
Mule deer have excellent night vision and ability to detect movement of predators on a distance of 600 meters. Their sense of smell is 1000 times more accurate than sense of smell in humans. They can detect water two feet below the ground.
Mule deer are active early in the morning and late in the evening to avoid high temperatures during the day.
Mule deer are herbivores (plant-eaters). They eat various leaves and flowers of desert plants, twigs, shrubs and berries.
When mule deer are faced with potential danger, they will try to escape by moving in a "stotting" manner (bounce from the ground with all four feet in the air at the same time). Mule deer are able to jump 2 feet in height and travel distance of 15 feet in a single leap. They can achieve speed of 45 miles per hour using this technique.
Main predators of mule deer are coyotes, wolves and mountain lions.
Mating season of mule deer takes place from October to November.
Usually largest male with biggest antlers gets opportunity to mate with large number of females.
During the winter months, males and females live in large groups. They separate at the beginning of the spring, when females become ready to give birth.
Pregnancy lasts around 200 days and ends with one or two fawns. Young animals stay with their mothers until the age of one year. Mule deer reach sexual maturity at the age of 2 years.
Mule deer can survive 9 to 11 years in the wild and up to 25 years in the captivity.

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