Impala vs Deer
Impala and deer are two innocent looking herbivorous animals those are easy for any averaged person to confuse. However, impala and deer belong to two different families of the Order: Artiodactyla. There are many differences between these two animals and those keep them apart as two different animals. This article intends to explore the differences between them following a discussion regarding the common and distinctive characteristics of both impala and deer.
Impala, Aepyceros melampus, is a member of the Family: Bovidae with a medium size body. Since these bovines are neither sheep nor cattle nor goat, impalas are antelopes. Because their homeland or the natural distribution range is Africa, they belong to the African antelopes. Mitochondrial DNA studies have confirmed that there are two different impala subspecies known as Common impala and Black0faced impala. An adult would be 70 – 90 centimetres tall at their withers, and the bodyweights could range from 35 to 70 kilograms. Usually, a female would be maximum 50 kilograms in weight and a male does not weigh below 40 kilograms. Impalas have a reddish brown coat on most parts of the skin, except for the lighter flanks and the white coloured underbelly. Additionally, there is a characteristic M-mark in black colour on the rear side of the animal. Male impalas have their characteristic lyre-shape curved long horns, and those can grow sometimes over 90 centimetres. They distribute in the ecotone areas or around the boundaries of two ecosystems where one of those is usually a water body. However, they can tolerate for few weeks without water. Additionally, impalas are capable of adapting to the changing ecological demands by being grazers in one season and browsers in the other. They form about two hundred-member herds, but males create their own territories when food is abundant.
Deer are ruminants belong in the Family: Cervidae with about extant 62 species. Their habitat ranges vastly from deserts and tundra to rainforests. These terrestrial ruminants naturally range in almost all the continents except Antarctica and Australia. Physical characteristics viz. size and colour differ vastly among species. The weight ranges from 30 to 250 kilograms depending on the species. There are exceptions to both ends of the weight range as moose could be as high as 430 kilograms and Northern Pudu is about only 10 kilograms. Deer do not have permanent horns, but branched antlers are present, and they shed them annually. Their facial glands in front of the eyes produce pheromones those are useful as landmarks. Deer are browsers, and the alimentary tract contains a rumen associated with the liver without a gall bladder. They mate annually, and the gestation period is about 10 months, varying with the species; larger species have a longer pregnancy. Only the mother provides the parental care for the calves. They live in groups called herds, and forage together. Therefore, whenever a predator gets around, they communicate and alarm to move out as soon as possible. Usually, a deer lives about 20 years.
What is the difference between Deer and Impala?
• They both are two different animals belong to two different families but in the same order; impala belongs to the Family: Bovidae but deer belong to the Family: Cervidae.
• Deer are small to large animals, but impala is more medium-sized animals.
• Impala are reddish brown in colour and paler towards undersides, but the deer are coming with different colourations according to the species.
• Deer have forked antlers and shed those annually. However, impala has permanent undivided horns, which are permanent.
• Impala has long skull and thin neck, but those features differ drastically among deer species.
• Impala has a characteristic M mark in the rear but not among deer.