Q:

How many different species of deer exist?

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Quick Answer

At least 90 different ruminant animals belong to Cervidae or the deer family. This family has three subfamilies and 23 genera.

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Full Answer

Cervids or deer live on all of the world's continents except Antarctica and Australia. These animals exist in all shapes and sizes, from the small 30-pound pudu of South America to the massive 1,800-pound moose of the Northern Hemisphere. All deer grow antlers that are shed each year except the Chinese water deer. Save for the reindeer, or caribou, only the males of the species grow antlers.

The family Cervidae has three subfamilies: the Cervinae, Capreolinae and the Hydropotinae. The most notable species of the Cervinae are the tufted deer, the fallow deer and the muntjacs. The Capreolinae includes the moose and the white tailed deer. The water deer is the only species of the Hydropotinae. That being said, the exact cervid history and classification is under some debate and has yet to be firmly established, according to The University of Michigan's Museuam of Zoology.

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