The Mesopotamian Fallow Deer (Dama mesopotamica) is an ungulate (hoofed), ruminant mammal in the Cervidae family. It is also known as the Persian Fallow Deer.
The Mesopotamian Fallow Deer is grey-brown to reddish-brown. The male has a short neck mane. The male has antlers, made from bone and covered with velvet. It is an even-toed ungulate with two toes on each hoof, like camels, goats, and cattle.
It grows to 160-250 centimetres (63-98 inches) tall. Its tail measures 12-19 centimetres (5-8 inches) long. The male has antlers measuring about 71 centimetres (28 inches).
It is native to a small region in southern Iran in the Khuzestan Province. It prefers open woodlands, particularly with tamarisk, oak, and pistachio trees.
The Mesopotamian Fallow Deer is an herbivorous grazer, eating grass. It is a ruminant, like a cow, and therefore it chews its cud (ball of regurgitated grass).
Its predators include the jackal, wolf, caracal, hyena, and brown bear.
The male is called a stag and the female is called a hind. Adult males stay in all-male groups for most of the year, except in the breeding season. The female is pregnant for 230-262 days, before giving birth to one live young, called a calf. The calf is born with white spots on its reddish-brown fur. It remains with its mother for almost a year.
The Mesopotamian Fallow Deer lives, on average, for 25 years.
[Location of photographs: Berlin Zoo, Germany]
Photographer: Martina Nicolls
Martina Nicolls: SIMILAR BUT DIFFERENT IN THE ANIMAL KINGDOM