This family includes a single genus and four species. These small deer ( 9 - 11 kg) are found in central and northeastern Asia, in forests and brushlands at intermediate elevations.
Musk deer are similar to cervids in many respects and are often classified as a subfamily of the Cervidae. They differ, however, in that both sexes lack antlers (the male has a huge, scimitar-like canine instead; females have smaller canines). They have a single opening to their lacrimal canals, versus 2 in cervids. Their gestation period is shorter than that of cervids (5 months vs. usually around 10 months), and moschids have a gall bladder (absent in cervids).
An additional character that separates this species from the cervids is the presence of an abdominal musk gland. This gland secretes a brownish, waxy substance that is used by humans in perfumes and soaps. Musk is very valuable, and musk deer are heavily hunted. In China, these deer are now bred in captivity so that their musk can be harvested.
Musk deer are secretive animals, generally active at night or in the early morning or late evening. They are usually solitary. Their diet includes both browse and graze, and they also consume some mosses
musk deer (female)
Family Suidae Family Tayassuidae Family Hippopotamidae Family Camelidae Family Tragulidae Family Giraffidae Family Moschidae Family Cervidae Family Antilocapridae Family Bovidae
<<<<<<<>>>>>>>ARTIODACTYLA CARNIVORA CETACEA CHIROPTERA DASYUROMORPHIA DERMOPTERA DIDELPHIMORPHI DIPROTODONTIA HYRACOIDEA INSECTIVORA LAGOMORPHA MACROSCELIDEA MICROBIOTHERIA MONOTREMATA NOTORYCTEMORPHIA PAUCITUBERCULATA PERAMELEMORPHIA PERISSODACTYLA PHOLIDOTA PRIMATES PROBOSCIDEA RODENTIA SCANDENTIA SIRENIA TUBULIDENTATA XENARTHRA