roe deer

roe deer
a small, agile Old World deer, Capreolus capreolus, the male of which has three-pointed antlers. Also called roe.
[bef. 1000; OE rahdeor (not recorded in ME)]

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Almost tailless Eurasian deer (Capreolus capreolus), found in small family groups in lightly forested regions.

It stands 26–34 in. (66–86 cm) at the shoulder. Its coat is reddish brown in summer and grayish brown, with a conspicuous white rump patch, in winter. The male has short, usually three-tined antlers roughened at the base. When alarmed, the deer barks like a dog.

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also called  roebuck 

      small, graceful Eurasian deer of the family Cervidae (order Artiodactyla (artiodactyl)). There are two species of roe deer: the European, or western, roe deer (Capreolus capreolus) and the larger Siberian roe deer (C. pygargus). Despite their Old World distribution, roe deer are more closely related to New World deer than to Old World deer. They are well adapted to cold environments, and they range from northern Europe and Asia into the high mountains of Central Asia, and south to Spain.

 The roe deer's coat is reddish brown in summer and grayish brown with a conspicuous white rump patch in winter. The male has short, usually three-tined antlers that are roughened and enlarged at the base, apparently to protect the skull against antler punctures. An almost tailless deer, the European roe deer stands 66–86 cm (26–34 inches) at the shoulder and rarely exceeds 30 kg (66 pounds) in weight. Siberian roebucks weigh about 50 kg (110 pounds).

      Roe deer are adapted to the forest edge. They are masters at exploiting the ecological opportunities caused by wild fires and floods. They also take advantage of human landscape disturbances and thrive when given a modicum of care and management. They are a popular game animal and are prized for their tasty venison. Roe deer are short-winded runners and expert hiders in thickets. When alarmed, the roe deer barks.

      Roe deer have a very unusual reproduction biology, based on using the vegetation pulse of summer to pay directly for the high cost of rutting. Other northern deer, such as the red deer, use the summer's vegetation to store fat, which is used up later during the fall rutting period. The roe buck, however, foregoes costly fattening, forms a territory that overlaps the ranges of two or more females, and breeds these in late July or early August. For so small-bodied a deer, however, this poses a dilemma, because small deer have short gestation periods. If gestation commenced right after breeding, then fawns would be born about 150 days later, in December, in the midst of winter. For fawns to survive and for females to support lactation, fawns must be born in late May, shortly after spring vegetation begins to grow. The roe deer solves this problem through delayed implantation, in which the fertilized egg, after forming a blastocyst, remains inactive in the uterus until the beginning of January. At that time the egg implants in the uterus and develops into a fawn, which is born in late May to early June, some 276–295 days after mating.

 In order to breed in late summer, roe bucks become territorial in March, at which time they shed the velvet—the once-blood-engorged skin that is now dry and dead—from their newly grown antlers and are ready to do battle. Consequently, roe bucks, unlike other deer, grow antlers in winter and not in summer. A small amount of fattening does occur in bucks just prior to becoming territorial and again before courting does. The buck concentrates on courting yearling females, apparently to bond them to his territory.

      Roe deer have a high birth rate and often bear two (sometimes three) spotted fawns. Young roe deer are dispersed by adults, and yearlings look for living space on their own.

Valerius Geist

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Universalium. 2010.

Look at other dictionaries:

  • roe deer — plural roe deer n a small European and Asian ↑deer that lives in forests …   Dictionary of contemporary English

  • roe deer — roe′ deer n. mam a small, agile Old World deer, Capreolus capreolus, the male of which has three pointed antlers Also called roe II • Etymology: bef. 1000; OE rāhdēor (not recorded in ME) …   From formal English to slang

  • roe deer — roe ,deer noun count a European or Asian DEER that lives in forests …   Usage of the words and phrases in modern English

  • Roe Deer — Taxobox name = Roe Deer status = LC status system = iucn3.1 image width = 299px image caption = Male and female Roe Deer regnum = Animalia phylum = Chordata classis = Mammalia ordo = Artiodactyla familia = Cervidae subfamilia = Odocoileinae genus …   Wikipedia

  • roe deer — noun small graceful deer of Eurasian woodlands having small forked antlers • Syn: ↑Capreolus capreolus • Hypernyms: ↑deer, ↑cervid • Hyponyms: ↑roebuck • Member Holonyms: ↑ …   Useful english dictionary

  • roe deer — UK / US noun [countable] Word forms roe deer : singular roe deer plural roe deers a European or Asian deer that lives in forests …   English dictionary

  • roe deer — stirna statusas T sritis zoologija | vardynas taksono rangas rūšis atitikmenys: lot. Capreolus capreolus angl. European roe deer; roe; roe deer; roe buck vok. europäisches Reh; Reh rus. косуля pranc. cerf chevreuil; chevreuil commun; chevreuil… …   Žinduolių pavadinimų žodynas

  • roe deer — N COUNT (roe deer is both the singular and the plural form.) A roe deer is a small deer which lives in woods in Europe and Asia …   English dictionary

  • roe deer — stirnos statusas T sritis zoologija | vardynas taksono rangas gentis apibrėžtis Gentyje 1 rūšis. Kai kurie autoriai išskiria 2 rūšis europinę stirną (C. capreolus L.) ir sibirinę stirną (C. pygargus Pallas). Paplitimo arealas – Eurazija, išskyrus …   Žinduolių pavadinimų žodynas

  • roe deer — noun /ˈrəʊˈdɪə(r)/ A small deer species of Europe, Asia Minor, and Caspian coastal regions (Capreolus capreolus). Syn: roe See Also: roebuck …   Wiktionary

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