Any of the ruminants in the family Cervidae, which have two large and two small hooves on each foot and antlers on the males of most species and on the females of some species. Deer live mainly in forests but may be found in deserts, tundra, and swamps and on high mountainsides. They are native to Europe, Asia, North America, South America, and northern Africa and have been introduced widely elsewhere. Females are usually called does, and males bucks. Deer range in shoulder height from the 12-in. (30-cm) pudu (genus Pudu) to the 6.5-ft (2-m) moose. They typically have a compact body, short tail, and long, slender ears. They shed their antlers each year, and new ones grow in. The general form of the antler varies among species. Deer feed on grass, twigs, bark, and shoots. They are hunted for their meat, hides, and antlers. See also caribou, elk, mule deer, muntjac, red deer, roe deer, white-tailed deer.
Rival European red deer stags (Cervus elaphus) fighting for possession of a hind in the
—Stefan Meyers GDT/Ardea London
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