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red deer:see 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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Red Deer,river, 385 mi (620 km) long, rising in the Rocky Mts. in Banff National Park, SW Alta., Canada, and flowing NE past Red Deer city, then SE and E across the plains to the South Saskatchewan River just over the Saskatchewan border.
Red Deer,city (1991 pop. 58,134), S central Alta., Canada, on the Red Deer River. It developed as a trade and service center for a region of dairying and mixed farming. The discovery of oil and natural gas after World War II lead to the growth of Red Deer's petroleum service industry, as well as the steady growth of the city itself. Red Deer is also in the center of a resort area that includes Sylvan Lake and Gaetz Lake.
(Cervus elaphus), a mammal of the family Cervidae, order Artiodactyla.
The red deer is a large, well-proportioned animal (height at the shoulders, up to 150 cm; weight, up to 300 kg). The adult males have branched horns with five or more points on each horn. The females do not have horns. The ears are large and oval. The tail is short. The coat of the newborn animal is spotted; in adults, the spots are absent or faint. On the posterior parts of the haunches around the tail there is a light-colored area (the “tail mirror”). Red deer are found in North Africa, Europe (except the northeast), Asia Minor, Middle Asia, Central Asia, eastern Asia, and the temperate zone of North America.
The red deer include many subspecies that are differentiated by body dimensions, horn structure, and color. Subspecies of red deer found in the USSR include the Middle European deer (C. e. hippelaphus), which is found in the Carpathians, the Byelorussian SSR, and the Baltic region; the Crimean deer (C. e. brauneri), in mountainous Crimea; the Caucasian deer (C. e. maral), in the Caucasus; the Altai Siberian stag (C. e. sibiricus), in the Altai and Saian mountains; the Tien-Shan Siberian stag (C. e. songaricus), in the Tien-Shan and the Dzhungarskii Alatau mountains; the Manchurian red deer (C. e. xanthopygos), in the Transbaikalia and the Amur and Ussuriisk krais; and the Bukhara deer (C. e. bactrianus), in the Amu Darya basin and the lower reaches of the Syr Darya. The red deer’s habitats are forests on the plains, mountainous taiga, the subalpine zone, low-lying and tugaic forests, and reed thickets. Red deer feed on plants (leaves, shoots, bark of trees and shrubs, grassy vegetation, berries, mushrooms, and fruit).
Red deer are polygamous herd animals, but adult males live apart from the herd outside the mating season. Every year in the middle of winter, the horns of the males fall off and new ones begin to grow, whose development is completed by autumn. Mating occurs from the end of August until October. Every year (between the end of May and July) the females give birth to one calf. Red deer reach sexual maturity in their third year. Longevity is about 20 years.
On most of its territory the red deer is sparsely distributed. It is found in considerable numbers on some game reservations and in some regions of Eastern Siberia and the Far East. Hunting red deer is forbidden in some parts of the USSR. Siberian stags and Manchurian red deer are bred on deer farms in the Altai and Saian mountains, in the Transbaikalia, and in the Far East. Young, as yet unossified horns of Siberian stags and Manchurian red deer—panty—are used to manufacture medicinal preparations (pantocrine and others). The horns are sawed off the males each year without slaughtering the animals.