Scientific classification
Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Chordata
Class: Mammalia
Order: Artiodactyla
Suborder: Ruminantia
Family: Cervidae
Subfamily: Cervinae
Genus: Muntiacus
Rafinesque, 1815

Muntjac, also known as Barking Deer and Mastreani Deer, are small deer of the genus Muntiacus. Muntjac are the oldest known deer, appearing 15–35 million years ago, with remains found in Miocene deposits in France, Germany[citation needed] and Poland.[1]



The present-day species are native to South Asia and can be found from Sri Lanka to southern China, Taiwan, Japan (Boso Peninsula and Oshima Island), India and Indonesian islands. They are also found in the eastern Himalayas and in Burma. Inhabiting tropical regions, the deer have no seasonal rut and mating can take place at any time of year; this behaviour is retained by populations introduced to temperate countries.

Reeves's Muntjac has been introduced to England, with wild deer descended from escapees from Woburn Safari Park around 1925.[2] Muntjac have expanded very rapidly, and are now present in most English counties south of the M62 motorway and have also expanded their range into Wales. The British Deer Society coordinated a survey of wild deer in the UK between 2005 and 2007, and they reported that Muntjac deer had noticeably expanded their range since the previous census in 2000.[3] It is anticipated that Muntjac may soon become the most numerous species of deer in England and may have also crossed the border into Scotland with a couple of specimens appearing in Northern Ireland in 2009; they have been spotted in the republic of Ireland in 2010, almost certainly having reached there with some human assistance.

Males have short antlers, which can regrow, but they tend to fight for territory with their "tusks" (downward-pointing canine teeth). The presence of these "tusks" is otherwise unknown in native British wild deer and can be discriminatory when trying to differentiate a Muntjac from an immature native deer, although Chinese Water Deer also have visible tusks (downward-pointing canine teeth); however, they are much less widespread.[citation needed]

Muntjac are of great interest in evolutionary studies because of their dramatic chromosome variations and the recent discovery of several new species. The Indian Muntjac is the mammal with the lowest recorded chromosome number: The male has a diploid number of 7, the female only 6 chromosomes. Reeves's muntjac (Muntiacus reevesi), in comparison, has a diploid number of 46 chromosomes.[4]

The genus has 12 recognized species:

See also


  1. ^ Teresa Czyżewska, Krzysztof Stefaniak Acta zoologica cracoviensia, Volume 37 Number 1 (1994) Pages 55–74.
  2. ^ George Kenneth Whitehead (1964). The deer of Great Britain and Ireland: an account of their history, status and distribution. London: Routledge & K. Paul. pp. [page needed]. Retrieved September 6, 2011. 
  3. ^ Deer Distribution Survey 2007 The British Deer Society. Retrieved September 6, 2011.
  4. ^ Doris H. Wurster and Kurt Benirschke, "Indian Momtjac, Muntiacus muntjak: A Deer with a Low Diploid Chromosome Number." Science 12 June 1970: Vol. 168. no. 3937, pp. 1364-1366.

External links

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Look at other dictionaries:

  • muntjac — [ mœ̃tʒak ] n. m. • 1818; mot angl.; de minchek, mot de Java ♦ Cervidé (artiodactyles) de petite taille qui vit dans les forêts de l Asie du Sud Est. ● muntjac nom masculin (anglais muntjak, d une langue de Java) Petit cerf solitaire et nocturne… …   Encyclopédie Universelle

  • Muntjac — Munt jac, n. (Zo[ o]l.) Any one of several species of small Asiatic deer of the genus {Cervulus}, esp. {Cervulus muntjac}, which occurs both in India and on the East Indian Islands. [Written also {muntjak}.] [1913 Webster] …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • muntjac — or muntjak [munt′jak΄] n. [< Jav & Malay menjangan] any of a genus (Muntiacus) of small jungle deer of Southeast Asia and the East Indies: the males have horns and long, sharp, tusklike canine teeth …   English World dictionary

  • muntjac — /munt jak/, n. 1. any of various small deer of the genus Muntiacus, of southern and eastern Asia and the adjacent islands, esp. M. muntjac, of Java, India, etc., having well developed horns on bony pedicels. 2. any of the small deer of the… …   Universalium

  • Muntjac — Muntiacus Muntiacus …   Wikipédia en Français

  • muntjac — /ˈmʌntdʒæk/ (say muntjak) noun (plural muntjacs, muntjac) 1. any of various small deer constituting the genus Muntiacus, of southern and eastern Asia and adjacent islands, which make a deep barking sound, especially the Indian muntjac, M. muntjac …   Australian English dictionary

  • muntjac — indinis muntjakas statusas T sritis zoologija | vardynas taksono rangas rūšis atitikmenys: lot. Muntiacus muntjak angl. barking deer; Indian muntjac; muntjac; rib faced deer vok. Muntjak rus. мунтжак pranc. muntjac ryšiai: platesnis terminas –… …   Žinduolių pavadinimų žodynas

  • muntjac — noun Etymology: Sundanese (Austronesian language of western Java) mənyčək Date: circa 1798 any of a genus (Muntiacus) of small deer of southeastern Asia with a cry similar to the bark of a dog and having in the male upper canine teeth elongated… …   New Collegiate Dictionary

  • muntjac — noun /ˈmʌntdʒak/ Any of various species of east Asian deer of the genus Muntiacus, having short antlers and a barking call. Syn: barking deer …   Wiktionary

  • muntjac — small tusked East Asian deer Unusual Animals …   Phrontistery dictionary

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