Water Chevrotain


Water Chevrotain

Taxobox
name = Water Chevrotain
status = LC
status_system = iucn3.1
status_ref = [IUCN2006|assessors=Deer Specialist Group 2000| year=2006| id=10341| title=Hyemoschus aquaticus| downloaded=30 June 2007]
regnum = Animalia
phylum = Chordata
classis = Mammalia
ordo = Artiodactyla
familia = Tragulidae
genus= "Hyemoschus"
species= "H. aquaticus"
binomial = "Hyemoschus aquaticus"
binomial_authority = Ogilby 1841
range_

range_map_width = 240px
The water chevrotain ("Hyemoschus aquaticus"), also known as the fanged deer, is a small ruminant found in tropical Africa. It is the largest of the four species of chevrotains, evolutionarily primitive even-toed ungulates which are similar to deer but are barely larger than small dogs. The water chevrotain is found mostly in coastal West Africa and the rainforests of central Africa.

The water chevrotain has a stocky, rounded body, thin legs with hooves, and a mouselike head. The male has tusks, which give the species the appellation "fanged deer". As its other common name suggests, the water chevrotain is a good swimmer and can dive underwater. Its nostrils are slits which it can squeeze shut to keep water out. It will never stray far from a water source, and it will retreat to water and jump in when threatened. It has a reddish brown coat with white stripes and spots. Adults average 10-12 kilograms and up to 80 centimeters in length.

Chevrotains are true ruminants, feeding mostly on a diet of plants, especially fruit. The water chevrotain is nocturnal and mainly solitary. Males' territories overlap those of females, but the males are rarely aggressive toward each other. While they do occasionally fight, using their tusks as weapons, they apparently prefer to avoid each other and keep to themselves. An estrous female will mate with the male with whom she shares a home range, and then gives birth to one precocial fawn.

The water chevrotain is a vulnerable species due to two main forces. Its tropical rainforest habitat is being rapidly consumed by humans, and the animals themselves are hunted for bushmeat.

References

External links

* [http://animaldiversity.ummz.umich.edu/site/accounts/information/Hyemoschus_aquaticus.html "Hyemoschus aquaticus"] Edwards, H. 2000. Animal Diversity Web. Accessed October 19, 2006.
* [http://www.ultimateungulate.com/Artiodactyla/Hyemoschus_aquaticus.html Ungulate Fact Sheet]


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Look at other dictionaries:

  • Water chevrotain — Wa ter chev ro*tain (Zo[ o]l.) A large West African chevrotain ({Hy[ae]moschus aquaticus}). It has a larger body and shorter legs than the other allied species. Called also {water deerlet}. [1913 Webster] …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • water chevrotain — afrikinis elniukas statusas T sritis zoologija | vardynas taksono rangas rūšis atitikmenys: lot. Hyemoschus aquaticus angl. African water chevrotain; water chevrotain vok. afrikanisches Hirschferkel; Hirschferkel; Wassermoschustier;… …   Žinduolių pavadinimų žodynas

  • water chevrotain — noun largest chevrotain; of marshy areas of west Africa • Syn: ↑water deer, ↑Hyemoschus aquaticus • Hypernyms: ↑chevrotain, ↑mouse deer • Member Holonyms: ↑Hyemoschus, ↑ …   Useful english dictionary

  • African water chevrotain — afrikinis elniukas statusas T sritis zoologija | vardynas taksono rangas rūšis atitikmenys: lot. Hyemoschus aquaticus angl. African water chevrotain; water chevrotain vok. afrikanisches Hirschferkel; Hirschferkel; Wassermoschustier;… …   Žinduolių pavadinimų žodynas

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  • water deerlet — Water chevrotain Wa ter chev ro*tain (Zo[ o]l.) A large West African chevrotain ({Hy[ae]moschus aquaticus}). It has a larger body and shorter legs than the other allied species. Called also {water deerlet}. [1913 Webster] …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • Water deer — Wa ter deer (Zo[ o]l.) (a) A small Chinese deer ({Hydropotes inermis}). Both sexes are destitute of antlers, but the male has large, descending canine tusks. (b) The water chevrotain. [1913 Webster] …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • Water deerlet — Wa ter deer let See {Water chevrotain}. [1913 Webster] …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

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