HomeNews & LifestyleThese Chinese Water Deer With Fangs Are Very Real And Strangely Adorable

These Chinese Water Deer With Fangs Are Very Real And Strangely Adorable

Chinese Water Deer Have Fangs But Don’t Worry They Won’t Bite

The Chinese water deer are an ‘un-evolved’, prehistoric species, but don’t worry… they’re herbivores. They’re close to regular, bigger deer in a lot of ways, but those fangs really make them stand out in the crowd.

Chinese water deer
Image: @fieldsupplyoutdoor on Instagram

Scientists have identified that this species of deer is around 30 million years old. The deer is secondarily primitive, a term which refers to the water deer evolving from a much more primitive ancestor than most of its cousins and relatives.

Did We Mention That They Bark Like Dogs??

Chinese water deer
Image: @cr_loonsword_wildlife on Instagram

The Chinese water deer barks like a dog. Yes it’s true. The barking is yet another trait that’s leftover from prehistoric times.

The Chinese water deer makes its barking sound when it’s trying to defend itself. However, scientists think that they also use the bark to communicate with other deer. While quite shy, the Chinese water deer can also be vocal, and sound strange and kinda scary at the same time.

They’re Called ‘Vampire Deer’ But The Reason For The Fangs Is Less Menacing 

Chinese water deer
Image: @natural_selections on Instagram

The fangs of the Chinese water deer, as we’ve discussed, are a leftover trait from prehistoric deer. The original deer of ancient times had both fangs and antlers, and were actually much smaller than they are today. Having fangs was a default for deer back then. That’s why these deer have come to be called “vampire deer”.

However, because prehistoric times were full of vicious predators, many smaller creatures such as these deer evolved from larger, carnivorous mammals.

They use their fangs to defend their young, and occasionally to fight with other water deer. But mostly, the fangs are for defence. No worries, they won’t be biting you anytime soon. The Chinese water deer (and all deer, actually) are herbivores and only eat plants.

Where Are These Deer With Fangs Found?

Chinese water deer
Image: @photographyshed on Instagram

The Chinese water deer are found in China and Korea. They’ve been heavily hunted by locals for both food and their special milk they produce after giving birth. Because of this, they’ve become endangered in Asia.

However, you’ll also find the Chinese water deer in various parts of the UK. In Great Britain specifically, a few species of fanged deer escaped from the zoos and managed to proliferate in the wilderness. Thanks to all of the plants available, no natural predators, and a fast reproductive rate, the deer in GB are now seen as more of a pest than an endangered species.

They love to swim, and although they’re shy and look kind of freaky, they won’t hurt you.

Chinese water deer
Image: @luizonas.h on Instagram

Related: How a gun managed to help conservation of endangered species.

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