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The chital deer, spotted deer or axis deer is a deer which commonly inhabits wooded regions of Sri Lanka, Nepal, Bangladesh, Bhutan and India.The name Chital comes from the Bengali word Chitral ,Chitra which means "spotted".
The coat is pinkish fawn, marked with white spots, and its underparts are also white. Its antlers, which it sheds annually, are usually three-pronged. It stands about 90 cm tall at the shoulder and masses about 85 kg,Its lifespan is around 8-14 years.
The spotted deer is found in large numbers in dense deciduous or semi-evergreen forests and open grasslands.They do not occur at higher elevation forests where they are usually replaced by other species such as the Sambar deer.They also prefer heavy forest cover for shade and are intolerant of direct sunlight.
They are primarily grazers and feed on short, sprouting grasses.However they will also browse as well as eat forbs, fruit and branches of trees.Chital also eat their shed antlers as a source of nutrients and will use mineral licks.They prefer to be near water and will drink mornings and evenings in hot weather. Predators of the chital include tigers, Asiatic lions, leopards, dholes and mugger crocodiles.The chital deer's superior sense of smell would seem to assist in early predator warning.
Chital deer most commonly occur in herds of ten to fifty individuals of both sexes. Large dominant stags stay in the center of the herd and are surrounded by the females and their young. The chital has a protracted breeding season due in part to the tropical climate, and births can occur throughout the year. Males sporting hard antlers are dominant over those in velvet or those without antlers, irrespective of their size and other factors.
Chital are generally silent when grazing together.They do however make high-pitched chuckles when walking. When grazing chital do a "courtesy posture" when they pass each other.When in danger, they run in groups.They will make bursts of high-speed running and then soon tire and dive into heavy cover to hide.
The Sambar (Rusa unicolor) is a large deer native to southern and southeast Asia.The appearance and the size of sambar vary widely across their range, which has led to considerable taxonomic confusion in the past; over forty different scientific synonyms have been used for the species.
The large, rugged antlers are typically rusine, the brow tines being simple and the beams forked at the tip, so that they have only three tines. The antlers are typically up to 110 centimetres long in fully adult individuals.
Sambar are found in habitats ranging from tropical seasonal forests & rainforests.
Sambar prefer the dense cover of deciduous shrubs and grasses.Sambar primarily live in woodland and feed on a wide variety of vegetation, including grasses, foliage, browse, fruit, and water plants,They also consume a great variety of shrubs and trees. They are a favourite prey item for tigers and Asiatic lions. Anecdotally, the tiger is said to mimic the call of the sambar to deceive it while hunting.They also can be taken by crocodiles & Leopards.
Sambar are nocturnal. The males live alone for much of the year, and the females live in small herds of up to sixteen individuals.They often congregate near water, and are good swimmers.Like most deer, sambar are generally quiet, although the males bellow during the rut, and all adults can scream or make short, high-pitched sounds when alarmed. However, they more commonly communicate by scent marking and foot stamping.
Stags will wallow and dig their antlers in urine soaked soil and then rub against tree trunks.Sambars will stand and mark tree branches above them with their antlers. When sensing danger a sambar will stamp its feet and make a ringing call known as "pooking" or "belling".
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