deer


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deer,

ruminant mammal of the family Cervidae, found in most parts of the world except Australia. Antlers, solid bony outgrowths of the skull, develop in the males of most species and are shed and renewed annually. They are at first covered by "velvet," a soft, hairy skin permeated by blood vessels. The stem of the antler is called the beam, and the branches are the tines. Antlers are used as weapons during breeding-season combats between bucks. In deer that lack antlers (the musk deermusk deer,
small, antlerless deer, Moschus moschiferus, found in wet mountain forests from Siberia and Korea to the Himalayas. In summer it ranges up to 8,000 ft (2,400 m). It is from 20 to 24 in.
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 and Chinese river deer), long upper canines serve as weapons. Deer are polygamous. They eat a variety of herbaceous plants, lichens, mosses, and tree leaves and bark.

The white-tailed deer that live in woodlands throughout the United States and in Central America and N South America was a source of food, buckskin, and other necessities for Native Americans and white settlers. Deer flesh, called venison, is still considered a delicacy. Slaughter through the years nearly exterminated the whitetail, but it is now restored in large numbers in the E United States and to a lesser extent in the West. In summer its upper parts are reddish brown, in winter grayish. The mule deer exists in reduced numbers from the Plains region westward, and the closely related black-tailed deer is a Pacific coast form.

Old World deer include the red deer, closely related to the North American wapitiwapiti
, large North American deer, Cervus canadensis, closely related to the Old World red deer. It is commonly called elk in America although the name elk is used in Europe to refer to the moose.
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, the fallow deer, and the axis deer. The only deer in Africa are small numbers of red deer found in the north in a forested area. The barking deer, or muntjac, is a small deer of S Asia. A muntjac discovered in N Myanmar (formerly Burma) in 1997 is believed to be the smallest deer in the world. Called the leaf deer, Muntiacus putaoensis, it stands about 20 in. (45 cm) at the shoulder. The misleadingly named mouse deer, or chevrotainchevrotain
, name for several species of small, ruminant mammals of Africa and SE Asia. Although they are also called mouse deer, chevrotains are not closely related to true deer, and are classified in a family of their own.
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, is not a deer, but belongs to a related family (Tragulidae). Many species of deer are threatened with extinction. 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.

See also cariboucaribou,
name in North America for the genus (Rangifer) of deer from which the Old World reindeer was originally domesticated. Caribou are found in arctic and subarctic regions. They are the only deer in which both sexes have antlers.
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; elkelk,
name applied to several large members of the deer family. It most properly designates the largest member of the family, Alces alces, found in the northern regions of Eurasia and North America. In North America this animal is called moose.
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; moosemoose,
largest member of the deer family, genus Alces, found in the northern parts of Eurasia and North America. The Eurasian species, A. alces, is known in Europe as the elk, a name which in North America is applied to another large deer, the wapiti.
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; Père David's deerPère David's deer
, Asian deer, Elaphurus davidianus, known only in a semidomesticated state. It has a bulky, donkeylike body, reaching a shoulder height of nearly 4 ft (120 cm), with a tufted tail longer than that of any other deer.
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; reindeerreindeer,
ruminant mammal, genus Rangifer, of the deer family, found in arctic and subarctic regions of Eurasia and North America. It is the only deer in which both sexes have antlers.
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.

What does it mean when you dream about deer?

The deer, as one of the most widely hunted species in North America, is naturally associated with hunting. It also symbolizes grace and gentleness (“gentle as a deer”). In folklore deer are messengers of fairies, which may give them a symbolic role in dreams as messengers of the unconscious.

deer

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(vertebrate zoology)
The common name for 41 species of even-toed ungulates that compose the family Cervidae in the order Artiodactyla; males have antlers.

deer

1. any ruminant artiodactyl mammal of the family Cervidae, including reindeer, elk, muntjacs, and roe deer, typically having antlers in the male
2. (in N Canada) another name for caribou

Deer

(dreams)
As like with most other animals, the deer in your dream may represent some aspect of your intuition or it may be a message from your unconscious. In some parts of Asia, deer are considered to be conductors of soul and thus the robes of shamans are usually made out of deerskin. The Indians of North and South America also gave deer a spiritually important role. They believed that the souls of men passed into deer at the time of death. They also believed that a dying deer was a negative omen, which usually represented droughts that in turn foretold of very difficult times ahead. In the modern world, we generally see deer as gentle forest animals. Deer are characters in children’s stories and Santa Claus uses them to bring gifts to all. Thus, the deer in your dream may be a symbol of gentle and helpful parts of your psyche. In order to understand the message of the dream, think about what situation in your life would benefit from gentleness and soulfulness?
References in classic literature ?
Now at a little rise in the wood a herd of deer came grazing by, distant full fivescore yards.
Natty, had I known you were in ambush, I should not have fired,” cried the traveller, moving toward the spot where the deer lay—near to which he was followed by the delighted black, with his sleigh; “but the sound of old Hector was too exhilarating to be quiet; though I hardly think I struck him, either.
They were in search of deer, when suddenly a huge grizzly bear emerged from a thicket about thirty yards distant, rearing himself upon his hind legs with a terrific growl, and displaying a hideous array of teeth and claws.
But now all that life-and-death fun was ended, and the Jungle People came up, starved and weary, to the shrunken river,--tiger, bear, deer, buffalo, and pig, all together,--drank the fouled waters, and hung above them, too exhausted to move off.
Knowest thou not," said another, "that thou hast killed the King's deer, and, by the laws of our gracious lord and sovereign King Harry, thine ears should be shaven close to thy head?
Presently the body scent of the deer told Tarzan that his prey was close at hand.
A light wind was moving through the jungle aisles, and it wafted down now to the nostrils of the eager carnivore the strong scent spoor of the deer, exciting his already avid appetite to a point where it became a gnawing pain.
Behind the graceful buck came another which the deer could neither see nor scent, but whose movements were apparent to Tarzan of the Apes because of the elevated position of the ape-man's ambush.
We got within a hundred yards of the deer when he suddenly raised his antlered head and pricked up his great ears.
Already, in addition to her own wild-animal skins, were those of deer and coyote and one mountain-lion which Daylight had killed.
Out of it he had made a magnificent deer-park, where, over thousands of acres of sweet slopes and glades and canyons, the deer ran almost in primitive wildness.
Robin Hood has left Maid Marian, Friar Tuck, Little John, and all his merry men to hunt the deer and make ready the feast.