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Muntjac, also known as Barking Deer and Mastreani Deer, are small deer
Deer are the ruminant mammals forming the family Cervidae. Species in the Cervidae family include white-tailed deer, elk, moose, red deer, reindeer, fallow deer, roe deer and chital. Male deer of all species and female reindeer grow and shed new antlers each year...

 of the genus Muntiacus. Muntjac are the oldest known deer, appearing 15–35 million years ago, with remains found in Miocene
The Miocene is a geological epoch of the Neogene Period and extends from about . The Miocene was named by Sir Charles Lyell. Its name comes from the Greek words and and means "less recent" because it has 18% fewer modern sea invertebrates than the Pliocene. The Miocene follows the Oligocene...

 deposits in France, Germany and Poland.


The present-day species are native to South Asia
South Asia
South Asia, also known as Southern Asia, is the southern region of the Asian continent, which comprises the sub-Himalayan countries and, for some authorities , also includes the adjoining countries to the west and the east...

 and can be found from Sri Lanka
Sri Lanka
Sri Lanka, officially the Democratic Socialist Republic of Sri Lanka is a country off the southern coast of the Indian subcontinent. Known until 1972 as Ceylon , Sri Lanka is an island surrounded by the Indian Ocean, the Gulf of Mannar and the Palk Strait, and lies in the vicinity of India and the...

 to southern China
Chinese civilization may refer to:* China for more general discussion of the country.* Chinese culture* Greater China, the transnational community of ethnic Chinese.* History of China* Sinosphere, the area historically affected by Chinese culture...

, Taiwan
Taiwan , also known, especially in the past, as Formosa , is the largest island of the same-named island group of East Asia in the western Pacific Ocean and located off the southeastern coast of mainland China. The island forms over 99% of the current territory of the Republic of China following...

, Japan
Japan is an island nation in East Asia. Located in the Pacific Ocean, it lies to the east of the Sea of Japan, China, North Korea, South Korea and Russia, stretching from the Sea of Okhotsk in the north to the East China Sea and Taiwan in the south...

 (Boso Peninsula
Boso Peninsula
thumb|Locationthumb|Landsat image with high-resolution data from Space Shuttle is a peninsula in Chiba prefecture on Honshū, the largest island of Japan. It forms the eastern edge of Tokyo Bay, separating it from the Pacific Ocean....

 and Oshima
-Places: :** Nii Ōshima Island, part of Niihama in Ehime Prefecture** Ōshima, Ehime, an island connected by the Hakata-Ōshima Bridge and the Kurushima-Kaikyo Bridge...

 Island), India
India , officially the Republic of India , is a country in South Asia. It is the seventh-largest country by geographical area, the second-most populous country with over 1.2 billion people, and the most populous democracy in the world...

 and Indonesia
Indonesia , officially the Republic of Indonesia , is a country in Southeast Asia and Oceania. Indonesia is an archipelago comprising approximately 13,000 islands. It has 33 provinces with over 238 million people, and is the world's fourth most populous country. Indonesia is a republic, with an...

n islands. They are also found in the eastern Himalayas and in Burma. Inhabiting tropical regions, the deer have no seasonal rut
Rut (mammalian reproduction)
The rut is the mating season of ruminant animals such as deer, sheep, elk, moose, caribou, ibex, goats, pronghorn and Asian and African antelope....

 and mating can take place at any time of year; this behaviour is retained by populations introduced to temperate
In geography, temperate or tepid latitudes of the globe lie between the tropics and the polar circles. The changes in these regions between summer and winter are generally relatively moderate, rather than extreme hot or cold...


Reeves's Muntjac
Reeves's Muntjac
The Reeves' Muntjac is a muntjac species found widely in southeastern China and in Taiwan. They have also been introduced in the Netherlands, the United Kingdom and Ireland by 2008. It feeds on herbs, blossoms, succulent shoots, grasses and nuts, and was also reported to eat trees...

 has been introduced to England
England is a country that is part of the United Kingdom. It shares land borders with Scotland to the north and Wales to the west; the Irish Sea is to the north west, the Celtic Sea to the south west, with the North Sea to the east and the English Channel to the south separating it from continental...

, with wild deer descended from escapees from Woburn Safari Park
Woburn Safari Park
Woburn Safari Park is a safari park located in Woburn, Bedfordshire in the UK. Visitors to the park can drive through the large animal exhibits, which contain species such as White Rhino, Elephants, Tigers and Black Bears...

 around 1925. Muntjac have expanded very rapidly, and are now present in most English counties south of the M62 motorway
M62 motorway
The M62 motorway is a west–east trans-Pennine motorway in Northern England, connecting the cities of Liverpool and Hull via Manchester and Leeds. The road also forms part of the unsigned Euroroutes E20 and E22...

 and have also expanded their range into Wales
Wales is a country that is part of the United Kingdom and the island of Great Britain, bordered by England to its east and the Atlantic Ocean and Irish Sea to its west. It has a population of three million, and a total area of 20,779 km²...

. 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. 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.

Muntjac are of great interest in evolutionary studies because of their dramatic chromosome
A chromosome is an organized structure of DNA and protein found in cells. It is a single piece of coiled DNA containing many genes, regulatory elements and other nucleotide sequences. Chromosomes also contain DNA-bound proteins, which serve to package the DNA and control its functions.Chromosomes...

 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
Reeves's Muntjac
The Reeves' Muntjac is a muntjac species found widely in southeastern China and in Taiwan. They have also been introduced in the Netherlands, the United Kingdom and Ireland by 2008. It feeds on herbs, blossoms, succulent shoots, grasses and nuts, and was also reported to eat trees...

 (Muntiacus reevesi), in comparison, has a diploid number of 46 chromosomes.

The genus has 12 recognized species:
  • Indian Muntjac
    Indian Muntjac
    The Common Muntjac , also called the Red Muntjac, Indian Muntjac or Barking deer is the most numerous muntjac deer species. It has soft, short, brownish or greyish hair, sometimes with creamy markings. This species is omnivorous, feeding on fruits, shoots, seeds, birds' eggs as well as small...

     or Common Muntjac, Muntiacus muntjak
  • Reeves's Muntjac
    Reeves's Muntjac
    The Reeves' Muntjac is a muntjac species found widely in southeastern China and in Taiwan. They have also been introduced in the Netherlands, the United Kingdom and Ireland by 2008. It feeds on herbs, blossoms, succulent shoots, grasses and nuts, and was also reported to eat trees...

     or Chinese Muntjac, Muntiacus reevesi
  • Hairy-fronted Muntjac
    Hairy-fronted muntjac
    The Hairy-fronted Muntjac or Black Muntjac is found in Zhejiang, Anhui, Jiangxi and Fujian in South China, also reported in northern Myanmar and Southern Tibet. Although extremely difficult to study because of its shyness, it is considered to be endangered, possibly down to as few as 5-10,000...

     or Black Muntjac, Muntiacus crinifrons
  • Fea's Muntjac
    Fea's muntjac
    The Fea's Muntjac or Tenasserim muntjac is a rare species of muntjac native to People's Republic of China, Lao People's Democratic Republic, Myanmar, Thailand and Viet Nam...

    , Muntiacus feae
  • Bornean Yellow Muntjac
    Bornean yellow muntjac
    The Bornean yellow muntjac is restricted to the moist forests of Borneo where it lives alongside the common muntjac. It is similar to its much more common cousin and was only recently recognised as a separate species. Apart from the color difference, its antlers, which are just in length, are...

    , Muntiacus atherodes
  • Roosevelt's Muntjac
    Roosevelt's muntjac
    A single specimen of the Roosevelt's Muntjac or Roosevelt's barking deer was presented to the Field Museum in 1929 following a hunting expedition led by Theodore and Kermit Roosevelt. The specimen is slightly smaller than the common muntjac and DNA testing has shown it to be distinct from...

    , Muntiacus rooseveltorum
  • Gongshan Muntjac
    Gongshan muntjac
    The Gongshan muntjac was recently identified by Chinese scientists as a new species of muntjac, a type of deer, living in the Gongshan mountains in northwestern Yunnan, southeast Tibet and northern Myanmar...

    , Muntiacus gongshanensis
  • Giant Muntjac
    Giant muntjac
    The Giant Muntjac sometimes referred to as the Large-Antlered Muntjac is a species of muntjac deer. It is the largest muntjac species and was discovered in 1994 in Vu Quang, Ha Tinh province of Vietnam and in central Laos...

    , Muntiacus vuquangensis
  • Truong Son Muntjac
    Truong Son muntjac
    Truong Son Muntjac or Annamite Muntjac is a species of muntjac deer. It is one of the smallest muntjac species, at about 15 kg, half the size of the Indian Muntjac...

     Muntiacus truongsonensis
  • Leaf Muntjac
    Leaf muntjac
    The leaf muntjac, leaf deer or Putao muntjac is a small species of muntjac. It was discovered in 1997 by biologist Alan Rabinowitz during his field study in the isolated Naungmung Township in Myanmar...

     Muntiacus putaoensis
  • Sumatran Muntjac
    Sumatran Muntjac
    The Sumatran Muntjac is a deer which can be the size of a large dog. The Sumatran muntjac was discovered in 1914, but had not been sighted since 1930, until one was snared and freed from a hunter's snare in Kerinci Seblat National Park, Sumatra, Indonesia in 2002. Two other Sumatran muntjac have...

     Muntiacus montanus
  • Pu Hoat Muntjac
    Pu Hoat Muntjac
    The Pu Hoat Muntjac is a newly discovered species of muntjac only known from Pu Hoat region in Vietnam, which is bordering Laos. It is sometimes considered to be conspecific with the Roosevelt's Muntjac, and its habitat and behavior are likely to be similar.-Reference:*...

    Muntiacus puhoatensis

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