Family Tree

Hover over the deer to see the chambers


Deer are herbivorous (they feed on plants) and ruminants (they use a fermentation process to extract maximum nutrition from their diet):

The stomach of all ruminants has four chambers:
1 First chamber (rumen): Fermentation
2 Second (recticulum) and 3 third (omasum) chambers: Filtration
4 Fourth chamber (abomasum): The true stomach

The ruminants regurgitate and rechew the food to complement the fermentation process.

The female deer (doe/hind) usually has between 1 or 2 young deer (fawns) in the spring, which are born with spots on their backs as camouflage.

Did you know...?
Deer normally stay close to their food resources and don’t make dens or nests, they rest under branches. Their main diet consists of plants, weeds and grass, sometimes they may take fungi and small branches.

Another characteristic feature of deer are the antlers, all the UK male deer species (except Chinese water deer) have them. They mainly use them to fight for groups of females during the rutting (mating) season, after this season, the antlers drop off.

There are 6 deer species in the UK, 2 of them are native and 4 are introduced species:

  • Chinese water deer Hydropotes inermis
  • European roe deer Capreolus capreolus
  • Sika Cervus nippon
  • Red deer Cervus elaphus
  • Reeves’ muntjac Muntiacus reevesi
  • Fallow deer Dama dama


Male roe deer or buck

Family tree

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