Pronghorn vs Deer
Pronghorn and deer are animals of two different taxonomic families, and there are some notable differences between them, which would be interesting to notice. People often commit mistakes in identifying them as animals of the same group or family due to the similarities in looks. However, the distinctions should be clear to understand. This article would be a proper guidance for that, as it outlines the important characteristics of both pronghorn and deer and finally it emphasizes the differences between them.
Pronghorns are also known as Prong buck or Pronghorn Antelope in the North America. Pronghorn is scientifically known as Antilocapra Americana, and they are endemic to North America; in fact, this animal is not found anywhere except in western and Central parts of the continent. In addition, pronghorn is the only surviving species of the Family: Antilocapridae. Therefore, it carries great importance. Although they are being called as pronghorn antelope, they are not true antelopes. An adult pronghorn is large with about 80 – 100 centimetres tall at shoulders and 1.3 – 1.5 metres in length. It is interesting to know that female pronghorns are about the same height as males, but the weight is less. They have only two hooves in each foot, but there are no dewclaws. Pronghorns have a special type of horns, in which there is a slender and laterally flattened blade of bone extended from the skull and an annually shed outer sheath covers it. These horns are curved inwards after extending a little upward, and females have smaller hors compared to males. Pronghorns have scent glands located around the head area. Their fur is brown on the top half and white in the bottom half as well as the vent area.
Deer are ruminants belong in the Family: Cervidae with more than 60 extant 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 pronghorn?
• Pronghorn has permanent horns while deer have annually shedding antlers.
• Deer are different from one species to another in the Cervidae family, whereas pronghorns are the one and the only living member of their family.
• Pronghorns are native to America, but deer are found everywhere.
• Deer does not have a gall bladder, but pronghorn does have one.
• Deer inhabit a vast range of habitats while pronghorns primarily live in grasslands.
• Deer have facial glands to produce pheromones while pronghorns have scent glands on their head.