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Muntiacus reevesi 6632.jpg
Muntiacus reevesi in ZOO Torun.JPG

Reeve’s muntjac (Muntiacus reevesi) is a small, stocky deer with a rounded body, slender black-brown legs and a primarily red-brown pelage. The creamy-white fur on the lower surface of this deer extends onto the neck and chin, as well as onto the underside of its short, reddish tail. The face is generally a pale tan colour and the forehead and nose are black. A distinct black stripe extends along the back from the nape of the neck. The male Reeve’s muntjac can be differentiated from the female by the presence of short, simple antlers and small, tusk-like canines. The female has small bony lumps on the forehead, and a localised black pattern, which is also present on the forehead of the fawn. The spots on the dorsal surface of the fawn function to aid camouflage against the dense vegetation it uses for shelter when it is very young. As the individual ages, it loses the spotted pattern and gains its adult colouration. Also known as the ‘barking deer’, Reeve’s muntjac makes a sharp barking noise, which is thought to be used when it is alarmed or in danger, although it may also serve as a warning to predators, or as a means of communication. Unlike many other deer species, Reeve’s muntjac breeds all year round. After being introduced to England as an ornamental animal for private estates, Reeve’s muntjac individuals escaped and formed established populations in the wild. Reeve’s muntjac gains its common name from John Reeves, a British naturalist who lived in China in the early 19th century. Also known as the ‘barking deer’, Reeve’s muntjac makes a sharp barking sound when it is alarmed or in danger.

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