Biological and Physical Characteristics of Whitetail Deer
The whitetail deer are arguably the most enjoyed and studied large mammal in North America and quite possibly the world. Webster's dictionary defines biology as "the science that deals with the origin, history, physical characteristics, life processes, habits, etc., of plant or animal". In our case, whitetail deer biology. Sometime in the late spring of 2009 I will be publishing a great book about whitetail deer and hunting them. Look for it as it will be a great read and have a wealth of information about whitetail deer and hunting them.
Origin Of Deer:
The obscure origin of the whitetail deer date back million's of years. They are the evolutionary decendents of some of the earliest hoofed mammals, artiodactyls, that roamed our earth some 50 million years ago. In the deer family, the whitetail biology is distinguished from their cousin, the mule deer, mainly by the configuration and shape of their antlers. A whitetail bucks main antler beam curves forward without a dichotomous (dividing or branching) fork. On the contrary, a mule deer bucks major beam of antler grows upward with a dichotomous fork.
Whitetail Biology Studies:
Whitetail biology studies have recognized no less than 30 subspecies of whitetail deer in North and Central America, and 8 in South America. The whitetail deer is well adapted to various habitat environments. It's diversity is reflected in its biological characteristics.
Latitudinal Influences On Whitetail Deer:
As the whitetails home area advances in the northern latitudes, it's body weight and size increase. The biological characteristics of this fact is in direct relation to the colder climates of the northern hemisphere. The further north we go in our hemisphere, the physical biological characteristics of whitetail deer get bigger, and vice-versa. Adult whitetail deer body weight can vary dramatically; from under one hundred pounds in parts of southern climates, to over three hundred pounds in the far north.
Whitetails And Ageing
It is possible that deer can live to be eleven or twelve years old. But most don't live that long. That is because deer wear their teeth out in about ten years. After that they aren't able to chew their food which adds active enzymes to the digestive process. When this happens, deer weaken and starve to death. Many die early from predators, injuries, accidents, or disease sustained in daily life. In heavily hunted areas of the country, most bucks don't live much past 1 1/2 to 2 1/2 years of age. Optimum biological deer antler development is attained the 5 1/2 to 6 1/2 years of age.
Continued in Whitetail Gallery 2.