In this video I share seven fun facts about one of Europe’s largest land mammals, the Red Deer. Did you know all of these red deer facts?
Here are the red deer facts that I included in the video, please let me know if you have any suggested facts I should have included.
- The Red deer is the fourth largest species of deer in the world, behind elk, moose and Sambar deer. The females are known as hinds and can grow to 170kilos whilst the males, which are known as Stags can get as large as 240 kilos.
- Red deer hinds live longer than red deer stags. The hinds can reach the ripe old age of 20 years whereas its very rare for a stag to live beyond 11 or 12 years.
- The stags and hinds live apart for most of the year in same sex herds. Calves that are female will remain with their mothers throughout their lives, but young males usually only stay for the first year and then leave to join the herd of males.
- Once a year in autumn the red deer all come together for the annual Rut. During this time the stags, which usually get along with each other have a surge of testosterone and begin to compete for the right to mate with the hinds. This competition can result in ferocious fights as each stag tries to claim as many hinds as possible and gather them together into a harem. The stags that have managed to gather a harem are often too busy chasing away rival males that they don’t have any time for eating and they can lose 20% of their body weight. Sometimes the rut is too demanding for older or weak stags, and for many it can prove fatal.
- Red deer are crepuscular. This means that they are mostly active just before and after the sun rises and sets. Hunters used to believe that red deer are more active at night time around the full moon but since the 1970s, researchers have repeatedly tried but failed to provide any evidence that this is the case.
- Red deer are almost 2 times more likely to give birth to a female than a male calf but this can fluctuate quite a lot. If a pregnant female is in a poor body condition then she is more likely to give birth to a male calf. It has been suggested that because this calf will leave its mother to live with the male herd, it will be less likely to compete with her for the obviously limited resources.
- In Red deer only the stags grow antlers and these are shed every year in order for a fresh pair to grow. In a fully grown stag, these antlers can measure more than a metre in length and can weigh up to 5 kilos. The spikes at the top of the antlers are known as tines and each antler can have from just one, in a two year old animal to more than 16 in a fully mature stag.
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