Fallow deer






Dama dama



The fallow deer is an Artiodactyla (even-toed ungulate) mammal, from the Cervidae family. Indigenous inhabitant of Europe and Asia, during the last glacial period it became extinct in the Old World. Since then, Phoenicians, Romans and Normans reintroduced the fallow deers, spreading them across most of Europe, islands included. Aside from the Asian, all other populations have an uncertain origin. Very ancient, and therefore very relevant, are the species of the island of Rhodi and the species hosted by the Riserva Presidenziale of Castel Porziano.
The fallow deer has the typical appearance of the deer; bucks have antlers and are stronger than does, being even 160 cm long and reaching an high at the shoulder of up to 100 cm and a maximum weight of 80 kg. Antlers fall off every year, and reform increasing in size. The colour of the pelage can change, taking on a different colouration: from a summer reddish-brown with white spots, that can also be absent, to the winter dark grey. Highly adaptable to a wide variety of habitats, the fallow deer does not have a predilection for a specific environment, other than the woods. Its diet is plants (grass, fruits, sprouts) and mushrooms. As many other Cervidae, the fallow deer is a social animal, that during mating season forms harem composed by one dominant male and few females. The fallow deer is commonly raised as an ornamental animal, and, thanks to its ancient relationship with humans, is not timid. Average life expectancy is about 10 years.



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