roe deer

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roe deer,

small, short-horned deer, Capreolus capreolus, of Britain and Europe and as far east as China and Siberia. Its coat is golden red in summer, darkening to brown or even black in winter, with lighter undersides and a white rump patch. It stands from 26 to 30 in. (66–76.2 cm) at the shoulder and has small three-pronged horns. Roe deer are widely distributed in woods near fields and wooded valleys. They are nocturnal animals, traveling alone or in families and browsing on grass, leaves, and young shoots. The polygamous males fight over territory in early summer and rut in early fall. Females give birth the following June, usually to two spotted kids of opposite sexes. Roe deer often leave behind in the forest trampled areas in the shape of a figure-eight. Called roe rings, they are made during courtship rituals when the male chases the female, and also by the young at play. Roe deer are classified in the phylum ChordataChordata
, phylum of animals having a notochord, or dorsal stiffening rod, as the chief internal skeletal support at some stage of their development. Most chordates are vertebrates (animals with backbones), but the phylum also includes some small marine invertebrate animals.
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, subphylum Vertebrata, class Mammalia, order Artiodactyla, family Cervidae.

Roe Deer


(Capreolus capreolus), an even-toed ungulate of the family Cervidae. The body length may reach 150 cm; the animal stands 100 cm high at the shoulder. The male weighs up to 55 kg; the female weighs somewhat less. The animal has a light and slender frame. The tail is short and hidden in the hairs. The male has antlers with three, sometimes four, tines; the female has no antlers. The summer coat is reddish, and the winter coat is gray with a lighter underside. The light hairs on the rump around the tail form a “mirror.”

The roe deer is distributed in most of Europe, the western part of Southwest Asia, the Caucasus, Central Asia, and the mountains of Southern Siberia, Mongolia, and the Far East (in the north to 60°N lat.). It lives in sparse forests from the coastal plains to the alpine belt, in the forest steppe, and sometimes in rushes. It feeds on grass, leaves, and the shoots of bushes and trees. In the winter it sometimes feeds on lichens and mosses. The roe deer mates in August to October. The female gives birth to two or three young in May or June. The main enemy is the wolf. The roe deer is sought commercially for its meat, hide, and antlers.


Mlekopitaiushchie Sovetskogo Soiuza, vol. 1, part 2. Moscow, 1961.


References in periodicals archive ?
Birth-sex ratios and local resource competition in roe deer, Capreolus capreolus.
Two cervid species, Cervus elaphus and Capreolus capreolus, were not separated in some cases during the analysis because of their very similar hair structure and consequently possible identification mistakes.
Capreolus capreolus, Sus scrofa, Equus mosbachensis, Dicerorhinus mercki, Palaeoloxodon antiquus, Mammuthus trogontherii, Ursus arctos, Canis lupus and Castor fiber (Bemilli 2004).