About us: We own the Wild Birds Unlimited nature shop in East Lansing, Michigan,
a store that provides a wide variety of supplies to help you enjoy the birdwatching hobby.

This blog was created to answer frequently asked questions & to share nature stories and photographs.
To contribute, email me at bloubird@gmail.com.

Wednesday, August 26, 2015

About half of all fawns are actually twins

An article from Journal of Mammalogy details a study that singleton fawns had a seemingly better survival rate than twins, but about half of all fawns are actually twins. The mortality rate for the offspring is so high, that there is a very strong chance a female’s fawn will die regardless of litter size. Therefore having a back-up baby ends up being advantageous in the end, and has sustained the population over time.

For many animals, especially prey species such as deer, the choice is sometimes not win or lose, but lose or lose less. It may sound grim, but it is an effective strategy.
Top that! Bucks have antlers, not horns. Horns are permanent keratin structures found on cattle, sheep, etc. Antlers, one of the fastest growing animal tissues in the world, are bones that drop off and regrow every year!

Thank you Holly for sharing your photos!

Article Source: Johnstone-Yellin, T., L. Shipley, w. Myers, and H. Robinson. 2009. To twin or not to twin? Trade-offs in litter size and fawn survival in mule deer. Journal of Mammalogy 90: 453-460.

Related Articles:
Remember to leave wildlife in the wild http://goo.gl/s5S0l4
Deterring Deer at the Bird Feeders http://goo.gl/nUzM3e
When did Reindeer Learn to Fly? http://bit.ly/veTLpT
Mammals have amazing strategies to cope with winter's cold http://goo.gl/KlJY1V

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