What Are Some Adaptations That Deer Have?

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Deer incorporate both physical and behavioral adaptations for survival. Physical adaptations are in their fur, senses, antlers, hooves and stomachs. Deer also exhibit behavioral adaptations in communication.

According to the Cosley Zoo, deer coats adapt in two ways. One, they are made up of hollow hairs, which insulates them in the cold. Two, their coats change colors according to the season, and fawns have spotted coats, allowing the deer to hide on the forest floor.

Deer are well-adapted to notice and meet danger. Their senses of smell and hearing are highly developed, so that they sense danger quickly. Their eyes are set on the side of their heads to allow for all-around viewing. Due to their long legs with strong muscles, deer can travel at speeds up to 30 MPH. They can also leap or swim to avoid danger. Males have large antlers, which allow them to fight off predators. Some deer have long, sharp hooves in front, which they can use as weapons.

Deer are ruminants, meaning they have four-chambered stomachs. They can chew their food quickly, storing partially masticated food for later chewing and digestion.

Deer have also developed communication adaptations. They stomp their hooves and snort when alarmed to alert other deer of danger. White-tailed deer also lift their tails to reveal the white patch, making it easier for fellow deer to follow when they’re running away.