One of the larger species of the genus Muntiacus, can have a body mass as large as 28.5 kg, with females, on average, larger than males (24.1 kg and 23.1 kg, respectively). The pelage is mostly black to dark brown in color. The thick and long frontal tuft above and between the eyes is cinnamon red in color and often hides the long pedicles of the antlers. The tail is notably longer than in other species of Muntiacus (~21 cm) and is thickly tufted with white fur that extends onto the inner thighs. The ventral side is only slightly lighter in color compared to the dorsal side. During winter, the coat is much thicker and darker, but becomes thinner and lighter in color during the summer. fawns have a coat similar to that seen in adults, except for the addition of four dorsal, subparallel, white spots. (Groves and Grubb, 1990; Sheng and Lu, 1980)
Like other members of the subfamily Cervinae, retain enamel-covered upper canines, which are elongated into tusks in males. In , only males bear short (20-60 cm), single-branched antlers on long, hair-covered pedicles (8-10 cm) that extend from the frontal bone. Annual shedding of the antlers is presumed to occur by many authors. However, Groves and Grubb (1990) raise the possibility that the antlers are not always shed, because of observed similarities in antler size and morphology between and M. atherodes, a species in which the frontal cavity extends into the pedicle preventing the development of a burr. (Geist, 1998; Groves and Grubb, 1990; Nowak, 1999)
The details of the mating system is not known specifically for M. reevesi is often used as a paradigm for other members of the genus. Males of that species demarcate and aggressively defend small territories exclusive of other males, these territories may overlap with those of several females. (Geist, 1998; Nowak, 1999; Geist, 1998; Nowak, 1999). However, the behavior of
Black muntjacs breed continually throughout the year without a distinct breeding season (polyestrous). Females may enter estrous before acquiring full body size. They bear only one fawn per pregnancy. In one study, some lactating females were found carrying fetuses, implying that post-partum estrus is possible in this species. The gestation period is not known for M. reevesi gestation lasts 209-220 days. The dappled coat of the fawn indicates that the young spend some time hidden in forest undergrowth until they are large enough to follow their mothers. (Lu and Sheng, 1984; Nowak, 1999), but in
Little is known about the parental investment of Muntiacus, maturation progresses rapidly and females may simultaneously carry one young in utero while nursing another. Both observations imply relatively little postpartum parental investment by the mother. (Dueling and Myers, 2004; Geist, 1998). However, in other species of
The pedicles and antlers of Muntiacus species in which dominant males may tolerate subordinate males along peripheries of their territories. The lack of a social structure in males is further supported by the smaller size of the males compared to the females, because small size is advantageous in fighting (i.e. increased agility) and disadvantageous in sparring and dominance displays. (Geist, 1998; Nowak, 1999)are thought to be used to engage opponents head-on in order to secure the opponent's head and avoid injuries from his tusks. However, the small size of the pedicles and antlers relative to body size imply that very little sparring occurs between males, suggesting lack of a social hierarchy among males. This contrasts with the social structure of larger-antlered
As mentioned above, Muntiacus reevesi report that males use low postures and "buzzing" noises during courtship, but such behavior in has not been documented. (Dueling and Myers, 2004; Geist, 1998; Nowak, 1999)scent marks with secretions from frontal and preorbital glands to demarcate territorial boundaries. Such scent marks may also indicate reproductive status. Visual cues, such as a raised frontal tuft or exposed white fur of the upturned tail, as well as barking, convey anxiety and may inform a predator or opponent that it has been spotted. Studies of reproductive behavior in
Some species of Muntiacus have been described as omnivorous. However, a study of the rumen contents of showed that the diet consists of leaves, twigs, and fruit without any animal matter. The contents included woody shrubs and vines, fallen fruit, herbs and grasses, conifers, and bamboo leaves, in order of decreasing abundance. (Lu and Sheng, 1984)
The main predators of humans and dholes. Leopards are also suspected to prey upon , but cases of leopard predation have not been documented. uses visual and sound cues (as described above) to inform a predator that it has been detected in order to dissuade the predator from attacking. Other species of Muntiacus quickly flee predators down well-maintained trails and hide in the dense undergrowth until the danger has passed. A similar behavior is expected of . (Dueling and Myers, 2004; Geist, 1998; Lu and Sheng, 1984; Nowak, 1999)are
Tanya Dewey (editor), Animal Diversity Web.
Aaron Wood (author), University of Michigan-Ann Arbor, Phil Myers (editor, instructor), Museum of Zoology, University of Michigan-Ann Arbor.
living in the northern part of the Old World. In otherwords, Europe and Asia and northern Africa.
uses sound to communicate
having body symmetry such that the animal can be divided in one plane into two mirror-image halves. Animals with bilateral symmetry have dorsal and ventral sides, as well as anterior and posterior ends. Synapomorphy of the Bilateria.
uses smells or other chemicals to communicate
animals that use metabolically generated heat to regulate body temperature independently of ambient temperature. Endothermy is a synapomorphy of the Mammalia, although it may have arisen in a (now extinct) synapsid ancestor; the fossil record does not distinguish these possibilities. Convergent in birds.
an animal that mainly eats leaves.
A substance that provides both nutrients and energy to a living thing.
forest biomes are dominated by trees, otherwise forest biomes can vary widely in amount of precipitation and seasonality.
an animal that mainly eats fruit
An animal that eats mainly plants or parts of plants.
offspring are produced in more than one group (litters, clutches, etc.) and across multiple seasons (or other periods hospitable to reproduction). Iteroparous animals must, by definition, survive over multiple seasons (or periodic condition changes).
having the capacity to move from one place to another.
the area in which the animal is naturally found, the region in which it is endemic.
found in the oriental region of the world. In other words, India and southeast Asia.
having more than one female as a mate at one time
communicates by producing scents from special gland(s) and placing them on a surface whether others can smell or taste them
remains in the same area
reproduction that includes combining the genetic contribution of two individuals, a male and a female
one of the sexes (usually males) has special physical structures used in courting the other sex or fighting the same sex. For example: antlers, elongated tails, special spurs.
uses touch to communicate
that region of the Earth between 23.5 degrees North and 60 degrees North (between the Tropic of Cancer and the Arctic Circle) and between 23.5 degrees South and 60 degrees South (between the Tropic of Capricorn and the Antarctic Circle).
Living on the ground.
defends an area within the home range, occupied by a single animals or group of animals of the same species and held through overt defense, display, or advertisement
the region of the earth that surrounds the equator, from 23.5 degrees north to 23.5 degrees south.
uses sight to communicate
reproduction in which fertilization and development take place within the female body and the developing embryo derives nourishment from the female.
breeding takes place throughout the year
young are relatively well-developed when born
Dueling, S., P. Myers. 2004. "Muntiacus reevesi" (On-line). Animal Diversity Web. Accessed March 21, 2006 at http://animaldiversity.ummz.umich.edu/site/accounts/information/Muntiacus_reevesi.html.
Geist, V. 1998. Deer of the World: Their Evolution, Behaviour, and Ecology. Mechanicsburg, PA: Stackpole Books.
Groves, C., P. Grubb. 1990. Muntiacidae. Pp. 134-168 in G Bubenik, A Bubenik, eds. Horns, Pronghorns, and Antlers. New York: Springer-Verlag.
Lu, H., H. Sheng. 1984. Status of the Black muntjac, Muntiacus crinifrons, in eastern China. Mammal Review, 14/1: 29-36.
Nowak, R. 1999. Walker's Mammals of the World. Baltimore: John Hopkins University Press.
Ohtaishi, N., Y. Gao. 1990. A review of the distribution of all species of deer (Tragulidae, Moschidae and Cervidae) in China. Mammal Review, 2/3: 125-144.
Rabinowitz, A., G. Amato, U. Saw Tun Khaing. 1998. Discovery of the black muntjac, Mammalia, 62: 105-108.(Artiodactyla, Cervidae), in north Myanmar.
Rabinowitz, A., S. Khaing. 1998. Status of selected mammal species in North Myanmar. Oryx, 32/3: 201-208.
Sheng, H., H. Lu. 1980. Current studies on the rare Chinese black muntjac. Journal of Natural History, 14: 803-807.