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Musk Deer

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The Indian Musk Deer or Kasturi Mrigha with the scientific name Moschus spp.

is the only genus of the Moschidae family. It is primitive than cervids or true deer. Various Musk deer species are found in 13 countries in Asia and Russia. It falls under the family Moschidae and species Moschus spp. The quick classification of Indian Musk Deer is as below,

Kingdom Animalia
Phylum Chordata
Class Mammalia
Order Artiodactyla
Family Moschidae
Genus Moschus
Species Moschus spp

Physical Structure

Indian Musk deer is a small sized deer covered with dark brown colored coat. The coat has short and soft hair with yellowish or white spots over the body. The hind limbs are muscular and long and the forelimbs are weak and thin. The rear side is small and arched which aids them to organize the jumps. Indian musk deer doesn't possess any antlers. They have a long upper canine which are visible even when the mouth is closed. The tail of the deer is hairless with a small tuft at the end. As the name suggests these species have a musk pouch located in between the umbilicus and sex organ which is absent in other deer species. This musk pouch is used to release a scent when a male wants to attract its mate.

The musk deer is 60 cm tall and the shoulder height is 20 cm. They weigh about 10 to 15 kg. The entire body length ranges between 90 and 100 cm. The lifespan is from 2.4 to 3.1 years. As the second winter approaches a winter coat with coarse hair and less spots is developed over the existing coat.

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