Chinese water deer, tusks clearly visible
Chinese Water Deer for birdtoner.
This species has tusks instead of antlers (but are still classed as deer!) The tusks are loose in their sockets and can be moved backwards to eat and forwards to fight. Water deer are often called “vampire deer” because of them.
Meaning the Water Deer! Instead of antlers, these deer have tusks that point downwards and because of this, they are classified into their own genus (Hydropotes) and subfamily (Hydropotinae). The tusks indicate that it is a very primitive form of deer.
These tusks are held loosely in their sockets, with their movement controlled by facial muscles. The buck can draw them backwards out of the way when eating. In aggressive encounters, he thrusts his canines out and draws in his lower lip to pull his teeth closer together. He then presents an impressive two-pronged weapon to rival males!
So prepare for a few Water Deer!