Deer vs Sambar Deer
There are good noticeable differences between Sambar and other deer family members. This article deals with their characteristics in general and differences between them in particular. It would be interesting to be aware of these distinguished animals, especially to understand the specialities about Sambar. Therefore, the information presented in this article would clear the uncertainties about Deer in general and Sambar deer in particular.
Deer are one of the main groups of mammals, including more than 60 extant species, described under several genera including Muntiacus, Elaphodus, Dama, Axis, Rusa, Rucervus, Cervus, and few more. Considering all the members of the deer family, they have a worldwide natural distribution in all the continents except Antarctica and Australia. Their bodyweights could vary in a broad spectrum, from 10 to 250 kilograms. However, there are big-made species such as moose and elk with bodyweights reaching almost 500 kilograms. Deer are herbivorous animals, and mainly browsers. Moreover, they are selective in their foraging habits, as they prefer foods that are more nutritious. Deer are ruminants, i.e. they have a four-chambered stomach, called rumen, that lets the food through a thorough process of digestion and absorption of nutrients very efficiently. They live in herds and browse together, which is considered as an adaptation against predation. Usually, they can reproduce at a very high rate, and only the mother provides parental care for fawns. Most of the deer antlers are long, forked, curved, and pointed. These are very important in fighting and as show-off features of males. Deer have been very useful for many human activities including mainly in game and meat hunting, indigenous medicine, and farming.
Sambar deer, Rusa unicolour, is a distinguished species with an interesting natural range that includes South and South-Eastern Asia. They are large animals, and their bodyweights range from 225 to 320 kilograms. Usually, their height at the withers reaches more than 1.5 metres. The antlers of the Sambar deer are special being large and rugged, which is unique to the genus Rusa. Additionally, their antlers have simple brow tines and forked beams. They usually have a shaggy coat of fur, which is yellowish-brown to dark grey in colour without any pattern, which means it is a uniformly coloured coat in Sambar deer. There is a speciality about them as there are hairless adult males and pregnant or lactating females. They can sustain in many ecosystems and in many altitudes from sea level up to 3,500 metres. Usually, Sambar is active in the night (nocturnal) or in the dusk (crepuscular), and lives in small herds. There are eight subspecies including the Sri Lankan Sambar, R. u. unicolor, the type species used to describe the particular species.
What is the difference between Deer and Sambar Deer?
· Deer is a group of mammals with more than 60 extant species, whereas Sambar is one particular species of deer with eight subspecies.
· Deer are collectively distributed over all the continents except Antarctica and Australia, whereas Sambar deer ranges only in South and South-Eastern Asia.
· Among all the deer species, the antlers of Sambar deer are unique from all others, as those are Rusine antlers.
· Compared to many deer species, except elk and moose, Sambar is a large animal.
· Body colouration is uniform in Sambar deer, whereas it could have some patterning in many species of deer.
· Some deer species in some arid regions are omnivorous in their food habits, but Smabar deer is always herbivorous.