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Observe a female europe moose taking care of her newborn calf in a woodland in northern Russia
A female europe moose and also her calf eat grass and also bark in a Russian forest.

Deer are dedicated herbivores, together is reflect in their large and anatomically facility digestive organs, their mobile lips, and the size and also complexity of their teeth. However, deer rely little on coarse-fibred grasses, and they have actually not evolved grazing specializations comparable to those uncovered in bovids. Instead, they are very selective feeders top top young grasses, herbs, lichens, foliage, buds, aquatic plants, woody shoots, fruit, and natural ensilage—that is, tree food defined by low fibre however high protein content, toxicity, and digestibility.


Caribou, or reindeer (Rangifer tarandus).

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Dean Biggins/U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service

The prejudice of deer towards high-quality food has actually its beginning in the an extremely high needs of antler growth for minerals, protein, and also energy. Antlers are “bone horns” that space grown and shed annually. The cultivation antlers are encased in “velvet,” a highly vascularized, nerve-filled skin covered by short, soft hairs. The blood-engorged, farming antlers are heat to the touch and quite sensitive. Depending on the species, castle take up to 150 days to grow, after i m sorry the velvet dies and also is forcefully removed by rubbing the antlers against branches and tiny trees. In addition to some blood residue, this imparts a brownish colour come the otherwise white antler bone. Antlers complete growing prior to the mating season and also are offered as weapons and also shields in combat or as display screen organs in courtship. Normally melted after the adjustment season, antlers might be kept in part territorial tropical deer for an ext than a year. The relative demand for energy and nutrients declines with body size but increases greatly for antler growth. Therefore, large-bodied varieties require an ext nutrients and energy to grow antlers than do small-bodied species. These demands cannot be obtained from grasses but only indigenous nutrient-rich dicotyledonous plants.