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Whitetail deer and how they interact in their environment!

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Travis Joines

on 14 November 2013

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Transcript of Whitetail deer and how they interact in their environment!

Whitetail deer and they interact and evolved!
About whitetail deer
Whitetail deer or (Odocoileus virginianus) are deer that are tan or brown in the summer and turn into a grayish brown in the winter time. These deer are white on their throats , around their eyes , and nose , on their bellies and on the underside of thier tails. The males have antlers and weigh between 150 to 300 pounds. Female on the other hand however do not have antlers and weigh between 90 to 200 pounds. Whitetail deer have a wide range of were they can be found across the united states. The whitetail deer can be found in southern Canada and most of the United States, except for the Southwest, Alaska and Hawaii. A deer's home range is usually less the a square mile. Deer collect in family groups of a mother and her fawns. When a doe has no fawns, she is usually solitary. Male bucks may live in groups consisting of three or four individuals, except in mating season, when they are solitary. The white-tailed deer lives in wooded areas. In some areas, deer overpopulation is a problem. Gray wolves and mountain lions used to be predators of the white-tailed deer and helped keep their population under control. But because of hunting and human development, there are not very many wolves and mountain lions left in some parts of North America.

Sometimes a bobcat or a coyote will kill a young deer, but people and dogs are now the deer's main predator. Because there are not many natural predators, deer populations can sometimes grow too large for their environment and deer can starve to death. In rural areas, hunters help control deer populations, but in suburban and urban areas hunting is often not allowed and deer populations can grow out of control.
White-tailed DeerOther things can change deer populations. Disease and parasites like lice, mites and roundworms can weaken or kill deer. Young deer and old deer often get sick and die, especially in the winter. Winter is a dangerous time for deer. Their long narrow legs and pointed hooves make it hard for them to move around in the snow and ice and it is easier for predators like dogs to catch them.

White-tailed Deer and people are living closer to each other because of human development and growth in deer and human populations. Because humans and deer often share a habitat, there can be problems for both of them. When a deer's habitat becomes smaller because of human development, deer will often eat food from gardens. Deer need to cross roads to look for food and water and are sometimes struck by cars. People can also catch a sickness called Lyme Disease from the deer tick.
Interactions of whitetail
Deer are everywhere in the states and have many purposes such as eating greenery and grazing and being eaten by animals and even humans. By eating these greens and nutrients and being eaten they make the food chain/cycle go around. The deer help keep the greenery in check and provide food for the carnivores in their environment. Whitetail deer take some extensive measures to protect themselves. These deer have really good smell and hearing. Sometimes if the fawns dump their waste to close to the den or nesting place the mother will actually eat the waste to keep from luering predators close to them. Deer help keep wild greenery trimmed and keep them under control and they provide food for the carnivores in the environment but deer also can be a distraction and a danger. Deer cause a huge chunk of the car accidents every year. Deer jump out at night and cause a car to hit them or swerve and hit another car. Deer are becoming so very tame these days that the whitetail deer is new yorks largest population of species other than humans. These creatures are flowing throughout the parks and streets.
Whitetail Evolution
The whitetail deer is probably the oldest large mammal species in North America. Some whitetail deer fossils found in Florida date to an astonishing 3.5 million years BP. By contrast Homo sapiens as a species is roughly 200,000 years old. Whitetail deer evolved from a similar species known as Odocoileus brachyodontus that existed from about 3.9-3.5 million years BP. O. brachyodontus had different teeth and antlers from O. virginiana, but otherwise was a similar animal. The direct ancestor of O. brachyodontus is unknown, but it was probably a species closely related to the Eurasian roe deer that crossed the Bering landbridge during the late Miocene. As far as I know, a genome wide study of the deer family has yet to be completed. The roe deer is the Eurasian species anatomically most similar to the Odocoileus genus, and therefore most likely to share a common ancestor.

Deer ecologically replaced the slender 3-toed species of horses and the American rhinos that formerly occupied the browsing niche in forested environments during the Miocene. Ice Ages began occurring early in the Pliocene, and deer were better adapted to the resulting environmental changes than 3-toed horses and rhinos. South of the ice sheets, a once year round climate of warm temperatures deteriorated to cycles of summer/hot and winter/cold patterns. Drought became more frequent. Broad-leafed trees evolved to drop their leaves during long cold winters and during prolonged droughts. Deer were better able to survive in these deciduous forests.
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