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.
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.
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